NYC Parks Department archive.
Youth amateur boxing instruction at the gymnasium inside the Rec Center,
which was also host to tournaments. "In December 1941,
the Parks Department announced the inauguration of a boxing instruction
program at nine park recreation buildings, including the Colonial Park Play
Center in West Harlem. Parks recreation personnel were trained to teach 'the
fundamentals of the art of self-defense.' Former World Heavy-weight champ
Gene Tunney was a special advisor to the program which was sponsored by
Bernard Gimbel, president of the Gimbel's department store. The program was
aimed at young men and boys over 14 years old, and was intended 'to enhance
physical well being... in wholesome surroundings.'" Aside from boxing a
lot of other athletic events took place here, such as the National Indoors
Singles Women's Paddle Tennis championships.
African American Experience, NYC Department of parks website
(accessed 9 August 2018).