Jackie Robinson Park and Pool - Photo #50 - WPA Recreation Center

Photo:  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.'"[1] Aside from boxing a lot of other athletic events took place here, such as the National Indoors Singles Women's Paddle Tennis championships.
  1. The African American Experience, NYC Department of parks website (accessed 9 August 2018).