As many as 500 students participated in a protest march across the Brooklyn Bridge on Sunday in support of additional and safer places to engage in athletics in the New York City.
The march was led by the Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and was joined by coaches, parents and representatives from lots of sports teams across the City.
Adams said he would be happy to see the city’s Department of Education allow sports teams and other athletic programs given more time on school grounds during off hours.
“We’re talking about one of the most important aspects of a child’s development and we’re not giving it the support it deserves” said Adams.
Adams added that the city’s schools are too often unavailable for athletic groups and teams. In addition, Adams said, when space is available the schools charge a lot for it, as much as hundreds of dollars per hour. He believes that approved groups and teams should have the high fees waved.
“Then we’re asking why are our children are so stationary” said Adams.
One example mentioned by Adams is the case of the Soul Tigers Marching Band. A program based in East New York, Brooklyn, the band lost its practice space in a city public school. The group, which has in the past led the iconic Thanksgiving Day Parade, was only given back its space after a long, arduous fight in which the borough president and other elected officials had to step in.
“DOE property is an extension of community resources, but a lot of these decisions are being done in a vacuum” he said.