Participation in sports can help young people prepare for school, college, and future career opportunities. Little ones can develop many qualities including discipline, leadership, teamwork, and patience.
Below, we highlight some sports leagues that you can still involve your little one in.
Achievers of America: Since the program began in 1998, their flagship program has been softball for special needs individuals in both Florida and New York. Like any good team, this group works to provide exercise and socializing opportunities but also helps players gain self esteem. This team plays every Saturday at Kissena Corridor Park on Main Street and Elder Avenue from 1PM to 4PM during the season which runs from May to October. Whether you’d like to join or just watch, it promises to be a fulfilling, great time.
Dwarf-Giraffe Athletic League: This league has been around for over 55 years. It offers sports opportunities for youth aged 5 to 18. They are currently in baseball/softball and lacrosse season. Starting in the summer, youth can participate in their football and fall baseball/softball programs. There’s always something going on. Contact them at 718-746-1539 or email@example.com.
New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL): The NYJTL is an education-themed community–based organization that offers school and community based programming around tennis for young people of all abilities between 6 and 18. They offer free after-school programming, an advanced training program, and the Community Tennis Program. They also host the Mayor’s Cup All-Scholastic Tennis Tournament, among other tournaments. Your high school tennis start can apply to compete for the Mayor’s Cup by Friday, May 11. If your little one is just getting started, look into the Community Tennis Program. Call this Queens-based organization at 718-786-7110.
Police Athletic League (PAL): PAL offers a sports league for any interest. Upcoming seasons include baseball and softball, basketball, and track and field. There are teams for boys and girls, and even coed teams. There’s bound to be something for your little one! For more info call 212-477-9459 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NYC Parks and Recreation Youth Sports Programs and Instructional Clinics:Parks and Recreation offers a number of sports programs for children 8 and up who are registered members of their local recreation center.
This spring, young’uns between 8 and 13 can join the Citywide Softball League, co-sponsored with the Police Athletic League (PAL). Teams compete on a borough-level and then the top teams advance to compete for the citywide title. For more information about programs in Queens call 718-520-5916.
City Parks Foundation: The City Parks Department offers several summer sports programs for young people. Their Tennis Junior Tournament Series is an important opportunity for residents between the ages of 10 and 16. Young people can participate at the borough-level, over the summer. The top point-earners then participate in the NYC Junior Invitational Championships in September. The winner is then named the City Parks Champion. Last year there was a $25 entry fee per tournament and an application process. For more information call 718-760-6985.
YMCA: The YMCA hosts a number of sports programs for youth. Their next season for most sites starts at the end of this month. Check with your local branch for more details. This summer, look out for the YMCA’s Junior Mets program at the Cross Island, Jamaica, and LIC branches.This eight week youth baseball program is co-sponsored by Queens’ own Mets. The program consists of skill development and team play in a recreational league.
By: Sandy Jimenez