Photos by Suzanne Monteverdi/QNS
Erik Goeddel plays a round of tag with Queens kids.

Over a hundred Queens kids got the chance to learn about fitness, strength and flexibility from some hometown heroes on Monday morning.

New York Mets relief pitchers Erik Goeddel and Chasen Bradford worked out with kids ranging from four to 13 at the New Balance Fitness Challenge in Hinton Park on Aug. 21. Co-founded in 2013 by Team New Balance athlete Curtis Granderson —  who was originally scheduled to appear before his trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers days prior —  the high-energy event is meant to inspire kids to go outside and get active.

Children rotated between different workout stations, including dodgeball, crab soccer and monkey tag, at the two-hour clinic. The two major league pitchers, along with New Balance trainers, worked with the young athletes at each station.



Glendale resident Cheryl Kondel said her daughter Lila Jean Kondel, 8, is a huge Mets fan.

“She’s having so much fun, and she’s not shy,” Kondel said as her daughter spoke with Goeddel about her latest experience at Citi Field. “She knows these guys; she follows them. It makes me so happy to see that she’s having fun and talking to them.”


After a round of activities, Goeddel and Bradford engaged with the group of youngsters in a Q&A.

When asked who their baseball idols were growing up, Goeddel cited Ken Griffey Jr.

“That guy just had so much fun playing baseball,” he said.


Bradford cited Tony Gwynn as an inspiration.

“He was one of the best players ever in the game,” the Las Vegas native said.

Another young athlete asked the relief pitchers who was the hardest batter they’ve ever faced. Goeddel said ex-Met Daniel Murphy, while Bradford cited Marlins power hitter Giancarlo Stanton.

Following the event, each young participant received a T-shirt as well as a challenge journal to encourage them to track their fitness activities and personal goals.

To learn more about the New Balance Fitness Challenge, visit their website.

See more photos from the fun event below.









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