Woodlawn Prepares for Summer Basketball League with Support from City, Pawtucket Rotary Club
Pawtucket: The Woodlawn neighborhood is preparing for another year of afternoon and late-night basketball games in Payne Park, including both an “Under League” (for youth aged 17 and under), and a “Midnight League” (for young adults age 18+). The Pawtucket Midnight and Under Leagues are both public programs for youth in the community, with games held several days a week. Coach Larry Holloway of Pawtucket oversees practices and games throughout the city. The Midnight League is sponsored by the City of Pawtucket, while the Under League is pleased to be able to count on the support of the Pawtucket Rotary Club, for the second year in a row.
“Public sports programs offer avenues for youth to be constructively engaged in our community, particularly during the summer, when school is out and when opportunities to get into trouble abound. We were delighted to see the multiple benefits of a league in Payne Park last year”, said Meghan Kallman, District 5 City Councilor.
These benefits include approximately 40 younger children people playing organized basketball in the Under League, wearing jerseys that the Rotary funded. “Some of these children have never had the opportunity to be on a team. The delight on their faces when they received their jersey was priceless. They had the experience of meeting new friends and working together in a peaceful manner toward a common goal,” said Coach Larry.
“I am always grateful to see a collaboration of community organizations and volunteers, coming together to achieve a positive goal”, said John Blais, City of Pawtucket Recreation Manager. “The foundation of the youth league at Payne Park was created in this manner with the generous support of the Pawtucket Rotary Club. I look forward to its continued success”.
Another benefit of both leagues was that there was no violence in that area of Woodlawn last summer. “These types of programs are key to helping youth in our city use their time well. The Police Department is happy to support this program” said Sargent Ken Dolan.
“The Pawtucket Rotary is delighted to support this summer opportunity of positive engagement – fun, exercise and community spirit” stated Christine Sullivan, Pawtucket Rotary President.
It is thanks to the support of many in this community—including the City Parks and Recreation Department, the Rotary and the Pawtucket Police Department—that this important program will continue, and is expected to expand.
The first Under League game of the season will be held on June 19th, at 4:00pm, in Payne Park on West Avenue.