The Chicago Park District offers a variety of athletic programs for youth and teens to receive training necessary for competition at various levels with an emphasis on learning basic skills and incorporating the rules of fair play and sportsmanship. Athletes in these specialty programs compete on the local, state, regional and national levels. Teens are taught hands-on job training skills in the Sports 37™ program and all programs strive to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
The sports program staff supplements the sports camps offered throughout the Chicago Park District and provides technical support for region staff in regards to their sports programming. Sports program staff is responsible for running citywide sports competitions and organizing culminating sporting events and have a thorough knowledge of rules and regulations of the sports offered. The citywide sports are floor hockey, basketball, 2-ball, badminton, soccer, softball, wrestling, table tennis, track & field, volleyball, silver skates, cross country, and boxing. In addition to our citywide sports, we also offer specialized leagues like our inner city programs. These include basketball (youth and teen), flag football and baseball. Our ongoing partnerships with the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs provide the much needed funding for these athletic programs. The Chicago Bears also fund the Jr. Bears and Nerf football programs designed to help kids get ready for football at the high school level.
After School Matters (ASM) is a non-profit organization that partners with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Department of Children and Youth Services and the Chicago Public Library to expand out of school opportunities for Chicago teens. ASM aligns the resources of these partners along with resources of private and non-profit organizations to offer teens a comprehensive network of specialized opportunities.
Sports37™ engages Chicago's teens in fun, spirited activities that develop important life skills and a healthy approach to living while exposing them to a broad range of career opportunities in the fields of health, fitness, and sports. Currently, Sports37™ includes the sports apprenticeship, pre-lifeguard apprenticeship, shallow water attendant, instructor aide, lifeguard apprenticeship, stadium management, recreation leader, junior fitness cadet, cheerleading, recreation leader, early childhood music and movement, water safety instructor, and Club37™.
Apprenticeships are hands-on, interactive programs led by skilled professionals who provide teens with an opportunity to explore different career paths and develop marketable skills such as teamwork and problem-solving. Apprenticeship programs operate at three levels of complexity: pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, and advanced apprenticeships.
The Wellness unit provides services in fitness and nutrition throughout the District. Utilizing the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Summer Food Program and Child and Adult Food Care Program, along with the contractual agreement with healthy vending within the parks to maintain a healthy food environment. Maintains and operates 60 fitness centers across the City of Chicago. Develops citywide curricula for out-of-school time programming, fitness-based classes, and nutrition education programming. Works to advance staff in the fitness and nutrition field through continuing education, online certifications, in-person trainings, and educational workshops. Provides tools, resources, and technical assistance to improve access to healthy food and increases opportunities for people to be physically active in their communities. Additionally, the unit works in partnership with sister agencies, nonprofits, and community-based organizations that advance the health of Chicagoans of all ages and abilities.