by Rick Winterson

It’s commonly called “the Walsh Gym” or the “Walsh McDonough Gym”, but this facility’s full name is “The McDonough Gym/John ‘Stretch’ Walsh Community Center”.   Just a few words about what it offers:  upstairs is the fully professional quality basketball court, sometimes split in two so football drills can also be run in parallel.  Downstairs is the Game Room:  pool, ping-pong, tables for lunch, and a TV area.  But the Walsh Gym has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic struck us in the middle of March.  And now, the Walsh Gym announces it will reopen today, at 12 noon.

The Walsh Gym is more than just a gym.  It offers a full slate of activities to young boys and girls, especially teenagers.  We can only give you a few examples of these activities, but we want to remind you that COVID-19 is still with us.  Everyone who uses the Walsh Gym – staff, members, and visitors – must “follow all the rules”, like Social Distancing, face coverings (masks will be provided, if needed), and frequent wash-ups.  No exceptions!

To begin with, the Walsh Gym is only scheduling its hours and activities for a week at a time.  Today’s opening will be just for Monday, July 13, through Friday, July 17.  The hours will extend from 12 noon until 10 p.m. in the evening.  The basketball court will be used only for practicing, not for games, even pick-ups or three-on-three.  Half of the gym floor may be used for football practice, like passing drills and playmaking.  The Gym will sometimes be scheduled for certain age groups, like 12 t0 15 year olds from 1 to 3 p.m., and evenings after 8 p.m. for teen activities over 15 years of age.   During this startup, please call (617)635-5640 to find out the exact schedules – they might change as weeks pass and the summer progresses.

The Walsh Gym is arranging an added attraction.  Check out their plans for outdoor teen activities in the afternoons around the bandstand in Marine Park.  We understand that there will be toilet facilities available nearby, as well as popular games like Spikeball.  And the Walsh Gym plans for reopening include employing skilled, reliable staff members, who will make sure every activity is courteous, enjoyable, and well-conducted.  Rather than try to list all the activities, times, and rules for every age group at the Walsh Gym, we strongly suggest you check them out for yourself and your age group.  Once again, the phone number is (617)635-5640.  Call anytime.


Director Ron “Cheech” Maciejewski and Gavin Foundation CEO John McGahan prepare to open the Walsh Gym