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Springfield Youth Olympics To Be Held at Springfield College; Open to Greater Springfield Youth

July 15, 2008

Springfield Youth Olympics SPRINGFIELD, Mass., July 14, 2008 – The Springfield Youth Olympics, a fun-filled array of track, field, and tennis events, will be open to Greater Springfield youth aged five through 22, Aug. 1 and 2, at Springfield College.

Cosponsors of the event, Springfield College and the YMCA of Greater Springfield, expect to double the number of participants this year to about 500.

“It was a great success for city residents last year, and we’re pleased to open it to youth throughout Greater Springfield this year,” said Brendan Neal, Springfield College director of community relations. “As we approach the Summer Olympics, this will be an opportunity for area young people to have a personal experience with the Olympic spirit of athletic competition and to showcase their talents.”

James O’S. Morton, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield said, “Our goal is to provide area youth with a fun and rewarding way to stay fit, while also offering an opportunity for families in the Greater Springfield community to come together. As the Beijing Olympics approach, we are hoping to inspire area youth to pursue their own Olympic dreams. This collaboration with Springfield College enables us to build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities.”

The Springfield Youth Olympics will open with Friday ceremonies at 6 p.m. on Springfield College’s Blake Track with greetings from Mayor Dominic Sarno. Following that will be the Bobby Knight relays named for the former Globetrotter and Springfield youth mentor, who passed away in June.

Saturday track events will include 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1,500-meter races. There will be field competition in shot put, long jump and triple jump. For youth aged 10 and under, there will be 50-meter and 100-meter races and very low hurdles. Tennis competition will be new to the event this year.

Hundreds of participants will receive medals, and all participants will receive commemorative tee shirts and lunch. Local health agencies and health care officials will provide educational materials and services throughout the event.

Registration forms are available from the YMCA of Greater Springfield; Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center; Dunbar Community Center; and the New North Community Council. Entry deadline is July 25, at 4 p.m., and late registrations will be accepted until Aug. 2, at 9 a.m. The registration fee is $2.

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