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City’s ‘Philly Play’ Summer Sports Program Gets Underway

(Councilman Bobby Henon grabs some sports gear at a distribution point set up in Northern Liberties.  Photo by Steve Tawa)

(Councilman Bobby Henon grabs some sports gear at a distribution point set up in Northern Liberties. Photo by Steve Tawa)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia City Council initiative called “Philly Play” is in full swing, with $40,000 worth of sports equipment being distributed to recreation centers across the city.

The program, started last year by Councilman Bobby Henon, is being expanded to ten targeted recreation centers, one in each councilmanic district.

“We have footballs, we have baseballs, we have nets, we have bases, hula hoops, we have double-dutch, we have jump ropes,” says Henon.

All told, 5,000 pieces of equipment are being matched up with sport-specific staffers, says Henon:  “People who trained in baseball, people who trained in football, for example, are going to teach kids how to catch, hit, and throw properly.”

“We have over 10,000 kids in our summer camps,” notes deputy parks and recreation commissioner Leo Dignam.  “This is going to give them the opportunity to have some physical fitness every day for the entire summer.”

At the end of the six-week Philly Play Summer Camp series, on August 13th, kids will participate in a challenge event at Vogt Recreation Center, in Northeast Philadelphia, to show off their newly acquired skills.