The Athletics Program at Gloria J. Parks Community Center draws over 1,200 unduplicated youth annually from all over Western New York, but primarily the City of Buffalo. It is one of the most active and diversified recreational athletics programs in Buffalo. At a time in American history in which increasing portions of our population are leading sedentary lifestyles with risk of developing obesity and related chronic diseases, our community center offers affordable fitness and athletics activities for our surrounding low to moderate income neighborhoods.
We offer various athletic activities for both elementary and secondary level students, including basketball, flag football, floor hockey, soccer, kickball, and pickle ball (new indoor paddle tennis).
A highlight of our athletics program is the annual Wendy’s High School Summer Basketball leagues for boys and girls. This league draws teams from all around Western New York, with between 300 and 500 youth playing in a structured tournament, four days a week over a 10 week period. Wendy’s restaurants donate all the tee shirts and trophies for the participants.
Kelly for Kids Non-High School Basketball League returns in 2014 after a hiatus. The Jim Kelly Foundation has generously sponsored this highly effective league, providing certified referees and jerseys. The Kelly for Kids League aims to draw 80 at-risk inner city boys off the streets and into a positive structured athletic league. The players must be youth that could not make it on their high school’s varsity or junior varsity teams. The league is strategically scheduled on Friday evenings December to February, to lure boys away from risky behaviors that tempt teens in our city neighborhoods.
Men’s basketball is very popular at Gloria Parks in the winter month evenings. We draw approximately 30 teams who compete in recreational basketball four nights a week.
For mature men, over 50 years of age we have competitive basketball on Saturdays mornings throughout the school year. We also offer an affordable Zumba fitness class for all adults on Saturday mornings.
Given our reputation in the community, and long history serving athletes for over 20 years, Gloria J. Parks offers several scholarship tournaments throughout the year that serve as fundraisers for several charities. The Aaron Graves Tournament raises funds for St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute’s scholarship fund; the Sean Scott Memorial Tournament raises funds for student scholarships at Bishop O’Hara High School; the Scramble Fore Kids Golf Tournament benefits the Coaches for Cancer Foundation
Our community center provides low-cost gym memberships for cardio exercise and weight lifting equipment use. We serve 299 gym members currently. Our cardio-exercise equipment and weight lifting facilities are available to members 12 hours each week day and some weekend hours. Our athletics staff provides fitness consultation for any members that request it. We also make our full-size gym available for community groups with athletics activities.