Queens kids take part in Track and Field championship at Randall’s Island. (Photo courtesy of City Parks Foundation)
BY CARMINE CARCIERI
Queens youngsters, between the ages of five and 16, competed in the summer’s largest track & field sports games at Icahn Stadium, the 14th Annual 2015 Track & Field Citywide Championships, on August 12.
The City Parks Foundation, a non-profit organization looking to build parks in all five boroughs throughout New York City, want the youth to thrive and have the experience of playing in a world-class stadium on Randall’s Island.
With over 2,000 New York City kids in attendance, the participants formed teams and competed in a plethora of events including javelin, discus, shot put, triple jump, 400 x 800 meter runs, hurdles, 4 x 100 meter relay and the 100-meter dash.
The games also hosted a special needs division that contained various athletic competitions like the 100-meter wheelchair dash, javelin, long jump, shot put and hurdles.
PeeWee runners, between the ages of five to seven, were encouraged to participate in the “Giant” Relay Race with the winners being rewarded with championship medals.
Queens had a heavy presence in the championships as the Astoria and Juniper teams combined to finish first in seven out of the 12 divisions. Juniper won in the women’s eight-year-old division, women’s nine-year-olds, men’s 10 year-olds and men’s 13 through 16 year-olds. Astoria dominated, winning on the women’s 11-12 year old level, women’s 13-16 year olds, women’s open division and men’s 13-16 year olds.
In anticipation of the most intriguing track & field event for the youth in the New York/Tri-state area, Emblem Health sponsored a program called CityParks Track & Field. This unique program gave the kids running and throwing in the Track & Field Citywide Championships an opportunity to work on their skills or learn the basics of the sport at 12 different sites across the city from July through August. Sessions were held twice per week and the practices offered free instruction alongside Emblem Health’s wellness tips and special giveaways.
Parents were given instructions on how to ensure a safe sports season for their children. Emblem Health focused on sun safety tips, hydration procedures and pacing tactics.
“We know that taking part in sports and recreational activities is an important way for kids to develop a healthy, physically active lifestyle,” David Flemister, the director, brand strategy and community marketing leader of Emblem Health, said in a statement. “Emblem Health applauds the spirit of healthy competition and sportsmanship that these young athletes show.”
For more information on specific results and future events visit CityParksFoundation.org.