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Astoria Park

City Parks Foundation Announces Its 2007 Summer Season Of Free Sports Instruction For Kids


Wednesday, June 13, 2007
No. 75
http://www.nyc.gov/parks

CityParks Tennis presented by JPMorgan Chase, CityParks Golf, and CityParks Track & Field sponsored by ING

Encouraging Fitness for Over 10,000 Kids in NYC Parks This Summer

Astoria Park, Queens – June 13, 2007 – Today, City Parks Foundation announced its 2007 season of free sports instruction for kids, ages 5-16, offered in over 50 parks across all five boroughs.

Youth across the city are welcome to participate in free golf, tennis, and track & field programs this July and August, offered for beginners in each sport as well as for those at intermediate and advanced levels. Those interested in participating can call 718-760-6999 or visit www.CityParksFoundation.org.

Participants in today’s announcement included: David Rivel, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation; Hon. Peter Vallone Jr., Member of the New York City Council; Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of the NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation; Mike Silverman, Director of Sports Programs for City Parks Foundation; William Gibbs, MD, Director of Rehabilitation Medicine, Queens Hospital Center & Co- Founder of Healthy Lifestyles, a program focusing on pediatric obesity; and more than 30 fourth grade students from PS 122 in Queens.

David Rivel said, "When kids participate in our free sports instruction programs they learn something they can enjoy for their entire lives, they develop a strong connection to the outdoors, to healthy activity, and to practices that lead to success in all aspects of life."

"There are more opportunities than ever for children to have fun and get fit in our city's parks," said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Thanks to our extraordinary partnership with City Parks Foundation, thousands of children will learn sports in our parks and on our running tracks, many of which are recently rebuilt."

"This program provides the sports and activity that is essential to the development of our youth. With our kids bombarded every day with junk food and video games, it has become more important today than ever to offer opportunities to stay active and healthy," Council Member Vallone said. "Running, jumping, swinging and sweating, that's what kids should be doing during the summer, and this citywide sports program gives them a free and accessible way to do it."

By offering structured fitness activity for more than 10,000 kids each summer, City Parks Foundation is helping to address well-documented health challenges faced by youth in New York City, including childhood obesity.

"By sponsoring these free programs for our city’s young people, City Parks Foundation is taking on an active role in the fight against childhood obesity," said William Gibbs, MD, Director of Rehabilitation Medicine for Queens Hospital Center. "While we know that changes in diet are imperative, the fact is that eating healthier foods must go hand-in-hand with assuming a more active lifestyle. Sports are a vital outlet for our youth and the key to grasping the importance of teamwork, achieving goals and attaining personal self-esteem. I commend City Parks Foundation for introducing free sports instruction to our kids and at the same time, helping to promote a better way of life for them in the long run."

A detailed citywide schedule for all three of City Parks Foundation’s youth sports instruction programs is available at www.CityParksFoundation.org.

CityParks Tennis presented by JPMorgan Chase makes the sport freely available to those who want to learn the game in a fun, relaxed environment. Tennis instruction is available in three skill levels: Peewee (ages 5-7), Beginner (ages 8 and up), and Intermediate (determined by ability). The program, which will be offered at 37 parks this year, concludes with a tournament held at Central Park for beginners and a tournament at Flushing Meadow Park for intermediates titled the JPMorgan Chase Aces Tournament. The program also offers intermediate and advanced players the opportunity to participate in a tournament series and tennis academy.

CityParks Track & Field gives New York City kids the chance to learn the basics of the sport, from hurdles and relay races to long jump, shot put and javelin throw. The program, sponsored by ING, will be offered free of charge at 13 locations throughout the city. All participating children will display the basic skills learned at the end of each season at an organized track meet held at the Randall’s Island world-class sports complex, Icahn Stadium.

CityParks Golf provides the most accessible way for children in New York City to learn the sport, in neighborhood parks and at local golf courses through two, four-week sessions. The program will be offered at 19 sites in 2007. The first beginner session starts on July 2nd and runs through August 1st, and the second session starts on July 30th and runs through August 29th. CityParks Golf also offers more advanced instruction through its Intermediate Program and through its acclaimed Junior Golf Academy.

For CityParks Tennis and CityParks Track & Field, participants register at each park when the program is in session. For CityParks Golf, participants are asked to pre-register online at www.CityParksFoundation.org or call (718) 760-6999 to request an application.

City Parks Foundation is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The organization works in over 700 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports and education programs and helping citizens to support their parks on a local level. Its programs and community-building initiatives reach more than 600,000 New Yorkers each year, contributing to the revitalization of neighborhoods throughout New York City.

In all of its programming and activities, City Parks Foundation partners with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to improve neighborhood parks and the communities they serve.

SPONSORS

CityParks Tennis presented by JPMorgan Chase

CityParks Track & Field sponsored by ING

Funding is provided by: The National Recreation Foundation; the USGA Foundation; USTA; Hon. Leticia James, Council Member, 35th District; Hon. Gregory Meeks, Member of Congress, 6th District; Hon. Nydia M. Velázquez, Member of Congress, 12th District; Hon. José E. Serrano, Member of Congress, 16th District; Hon. Lewis A. Fidler, Council Member, 46th District.

CONTACT: Warner Johnston / Abigail Lootens (Parks & Recreation) 212.360.1311; Carli Smith (Sharp Communications) 212.829.0002, x110, cs@sharpthink.com

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