The leaves are falling, but the kids are still running.
The New York Road Runners (NYRR) Youth Jamboree kicked into high gear at the Armory in Washington Heights on October 23 – and family fun was had by all as kids participated in a variety of track and field events including relays, runs, long jump and shot put.
Each year the friendly competition attracts sporty sorts from across the city, and this year they were joined by an icon in the world of adolescent fitness. For the first time ever, Sportacus from the television show “Lazytown” joined the NYRR team at the Jamboree to motivate and energize the kids with warm-up sessions throughout the day.
After the event was over and the awards were passed out, Sportacus paid a visit to P.S. 197 in Far Rockaway to congratulate some of the athletes on their amazing accomplishments.
Among the winners at P.S. 197 were Nylique Knight, 11, who won 1st place in the 55 meter and 200 meter; Lida Murrel, 9, 1st place winner in the 200 meter; Ny’hemia Steadman, 9, 1st place winner in the 55 meter; and Nashawn Wilson, 10, 1st place winner in the 55 and 200 meter.
The entire team of runners from P.S. 197 received donated wool, hand-knit running hats from Heather Bergstein, Mary Lou Risley and a group of volunteers. The school’s physical education teacher, Richard Reiss, received one with “Coach!” stitched across the front.
“The NYRR running programs give kids an opportunity to discover a lot about themselves,” said Reiss, who is in his 5th successful year with the Mighty Milers program. “It helps to build their self-esteem; they learn to eat healthy and stay in shape; and it exposes them to new things in life that they would not have access to. I am very fortunate to have found this program for my students.”
Those interested in NYRR’s many youth programs should visit www.nyrrf.org or call them at 212-860-4455.