Assemblymember Wallace Secures $25,000 for Cheektowaga Youth & Recreation Sports Programs

Funding secured by Assemblymember Wallace to support year-round sports programming for underserved youth

Today, Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace (D-Lancaster) announced that she has secured $25,000 in state funding for the Town of Cheektowaga’s Youth & Recreation Services to provide affordable, intramural sports programs for area youth. Beginning in spring 2022, Cheektowaga Youth & Recreation will offer seasonally rotating sports for children aged seven to 15 at various locations throughout the town.

Cheektowaga Youth & Recreation will use the funding to expand current sports programs for youth and offer new sports programs, rotating seasonally, for children ages seven to 15, with the goal of eventually offering alternating sports monthly. The department also plans to hold a six-week youth sports camp in 2022, in which participants will play a different sport each week.

“Research has found that children who participate in organized sports tend to have better health outcomes, improved grades, higher incomes later in life, and be less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Unfortunately, many children from working class households participate less than their wealthier peers due to the cost and time commitment,” said Assemblymember Wallace. “With these new sports programs, we will provide Cheektowaga families with a more affordable option for getting their children involved in sports.”

“Thanks to this new funding, we will be able to offer new sports programs to reach underserved youth in our community,” said Jill Gorman-King, Executive Director of Cheektowaga Youth & Recreation. “These programs will be more affordable than club sports and less competitive than school sports, which will allow all interested youth a fair opportunity to participate. We deeply appreciate Assemblymember Wallace’s continued advocacy for after-school programs and sport and play initiatives, for the children and teens of Cheektowaga.”

Assemblymember Wallace has long been a champion for youth sports programs, particularly for children of lesser means who face barriers to participation. She secured $100,000 in seed money for the Cheektowaga Boys & Girls Club and another $250,000 for the Town of Cheektowaga to make security and accessibility upgrades to the club facilities in the Alexander Community Center. Thanks to the funding secured by Assemblymember Wallace and private donations, the Cheektowaga Boys & Girls Club opened in September 2021. Additionally, Assemblymember Wallace secured a provision in the 2021-22 budget to allocate millions in revenue from mobile sports betting for sports programs for underserved youth. Several other states, including Arizona and California, are Assemblymember Wallace’s lead and considering similar proposals to fund youth sports with gambling revenue.