Free sports lessons for kids at Queens parks begins next week

By Queens Courier Staff |

This summer vacation thanks to the City Parks Foundation parents won’t have to hear their children say two dreaded words “I’m bored.”

Starting July 5 free tennis, golf and track and field instruction will be offered at local area parks including Alley Pond Park, Astoria Park, Baisley Park, Cunningham Park, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Flushing Memorial Field, Forest Park, Juniper Valley Park, Kissena Park, Mario Fajardo Park and Detective Keith L. Williams Park in Queens.

The foundation established these programs for local children decades ago with tennis. Mike Silverman, the director of sports for the foundation stated that the program grew over the years as golf, track and fitness were added and this year the organization expects to instruct over 14,000 kids.

Tennis lessons, presented by Chase®, are offered to kids ages five to 16 and conclude on August 16 with a tournament for both beginners and intermediates held at Central Park Tennis Center and Flushing Meadows Tennis Center respectively.

Golf, presented by the René Lacoste Foundation, will be held in two sessions July 5 through July 29 and from August 1 through August 26 for kids ages six to 16. The children will be granted the opportunity to tryout for the City Parks Intermediate Program and Junior Golf Academy which are specialized programs for committed young golfers.

Track and field offers children the opportunity to participate in hurdles, relay races, long jumping, shot putting and javelin throwing. The children will also be able to show off their skills at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island during an organized track meet on August 17.

Golf is the only activity where pre-registration is necessary since classes must be a manageable size for safety purposes. Tennis and track and field will both have drop-in on-site registration which will begin on the first day of the activity and will be on going until the end of the session.

All equipment will be provided with Silverman stating “All we ask for is the kids to wear sneakers and shorts and dress appropriately; and maybe wear some sunscreen.”

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