Project Play is well underway in Western New York. And as our initiative gains momentum, community and youth sports organizations will play a vital role in inspiring our children with the power of play.


Good Sports

Is your child’s school team or youth sports program in need of equipment? Good Sports is a nonprofit organization that provides a wide range of new sporting equipment, footwear and apparel to youth organizations, local teams and schools based on true need. To learn more about Good Sports criteria for equipment donations, visit their website today. LEARN MORE

Project Play Playbook

The Project Play Playbook is a 50-page report aggregating the eight most promising strategies to foster the development of healthy children and communities through play. LEARN MORE

State of Play: WNY Report

To better understand the state of youth sports in our communities, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation commissioned three regional studies by the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program. Out of that research, Project Play Western New York was born. READ THE REPORT

State of Play Video

The research that came out of State of Play was eye-opening. It gave us tremendous insight into how we can shift the state of youth sports in Western New York, and our partner region of Southeast Michigan, to help shape the futures of our children and our communities. WATCH THE VIDEO


Playworks helps kids stay active while they build valuable social and emotional skills through play. Learn how you can create opportunities for play in your schools and youth programs. LEARN MORE

Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo – Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds for Youth Sports

In 2016, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation established an endowment fund at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to help support localized programs across the eight counties of Western New York that provide opportunities for all children to be active through sports. Grants between $10,000-$50,000 are available for eligible nonprofit organizations and programs through an annual application process. Visit the Community Foundation’s website for grant guidelines and the current timeline. LEARN MORE

Mini Grants

One of the ways Project Play WNY supports youth sports organizations is through our mini-grant program. Mini-grants provide youth sports organizations with the funding they need to host and attend coach training workshops, free play programs and sports sampling events. Our mini-grants also provide support to youth sports organizations seeking to strengthen their operations or capacity. Be sure to check back soon for upcoming mini-grant opportunities.

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Grants

Youth Sports & Recreation is a key focus of the grantmaking by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation with a mission of working to provide access for kids to get active through sport regardless of age or ability. The Foundation accepts applications year-round for nonprofit organizations through its grant applications portal online. LEARN MORE

Rochester Area Community Foundation – Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds for Youth Sports

In 2016, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation established the grant at the Rochester Area Community Foundation to help provide all children in Western New York’s eight counties with access to quality sports and recreation experiences, regardless of zip code or ability. LEARN MORE

Coaches Training Clinics

Starting this fall, Project Play WNY will be hosting a series of coaches training sessions for WNY youth sport organizations. These sessions will be led by the Institute of Youth Sports and Dr. Dan Gould. Check back for dates, times and registration procedures.


Community Conversations

Project Play WNY hosts conversations for families, coaches and youth sport organizations on how we can all work together to ensure that kids in our regions have an opportunity to be active through a quality youth sport experience regardless of zip code. Check back for future dates and details.

Questions? Concerns? Ideas?

We want to hear from you. Email us at or call us at 716-852-2857 ext. 222.