NYC PS & You – Celebrating our Student Athletes

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Celebrating our Student Athletes

Dear New Yorkers,

I recently returned to my alma mater, Hillcrest High School, for a dedication ceremony to rename the school gym in honor of Hillcrest’s longtime basketball coach, Ken Gershon. In his 30 years as head coach at Hillcrest, he never missed a single game.

And while I personally didn’t make the cut for Coach Gershon’s team (a disappointment to this day!), his dedication left a lasting impression. To me, Coach Gershon represents the power of sports – to unite, to motivate, and to inspire us to grow and achieve.

That’s why I’m so proud of our Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) student-athletes and coaches. The pandemic disrupted many of our athletic programs, but our students and staff persisted. Now, with over 46,000 PSAL athletes across 3,400-plus teams, we are on track to meet—and hopefully exceed—pre-pandemic participation.

Not only are our sports teams back and stronger than ever, but we are continuing to expand, improve, and innovate. We want to ensure our students have access to the widest array of sports possible, so in addition to the more typical options such as soccer, track, and volleyball, we offer cricket, bowling, table tennis, rugby, and double dutch, too. We’ve also embarked on several renovations and restorations to our athletic facilities, from the sports fields at the Kennedy and Jefferson High School campuses to the pool at the DeWitt Clinton High School campus. I attended the ribbon cutting for the DeWitt Clinton pool last week along with Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, City Councilmember Eric Dinowitz, and NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue—and the energy was contagious. Our student-athletes are ready to put the pool to good use.

We are also empowering our students to imagine new possibilities and build bold futures through sports. We recently held our annual softball and baseball showcases for PSAL athletes to show off their skills to college coaches and scouts. And last month, the Erasmus Hall Campus football team traveled all the way to London to compete against the NFL Academy of the UK. We hosted a terrific send-off for the team at our central office, where I reminded them: this is not about winning or losing. It’s about showing up, giving your best, and learning from this unique international experience. I think Coach Gershon would’ve agreed.

As we approach our fall sports postseason, I encourage you to join us for an upcoming playoff or championship game. To find the schedule for your favorite team, check out our PSAL website or follow PSAL on X, Instagram, or Threads.

Soaring high,

David C. Banks

Our Spotlight Video:

GOAL! ⚽ This @nycpsal Boys Soccer match between Martin Luther King Jr. High School (@mlk_nyc_soccer) and Beacon High School… | Instagram

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