Program to transition to “Run Jump Throw” in 2015 under new partnership with USA Track & Field and Athletics Canada.
The Hershey Co. is set to welcome more than 450 youth athletes to compete in the 37th Annual Hershey’s Track and Field Games’ North American Final Meet, on Saturday, Aug. 2, at Henry Hershey Field on the Milton Hershey School campus in Hershey, Pa.
Children ages 9-14 will come together for a celebration of excellence, full of new friends, learning, competition and fun.
Competitors advanced to the North American Final by winning in local, state and provincial meets. Since its creation in 1977, more than 10 million children have participated in Hershey’s Track & Field Games meets. Over the past three decades it has grown to become the largest youth activity program of its kind in North America.
Olympic greats Dan O’Brien, Rafer Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Carl Lewis will join the children to serve as ambassadors for the event.
USA Track & Field will webcast the meet live on USATF.tv and provide live results and event coverage at www.usatf.org.
“Our mission at the games is to engage kids in basic running, jumping and throwing activities to inspire a lifetime of physical activity,” said Carl Lewis, nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Hershey’s Track & Field Games ambassador. “I’m proud to be part of such a great program that has touched the lives of so many.”
A group of local youth qualified for the North American Final this year and will compete in the event. They include:
Amelia Baldo—Softball Throw—Palmyra
Talitha Diggs—Standing Long Jump—Hellertown
Joshua Dolbin—Standing Long Jump—New Ringgold
Levi Goebler—Softball Throw—Dover
Nathan Lahr—Standing Long Jump—Dover
Paul Olivett—200m Dash—State College
Avery Parks—Softball Throw—Greencastle
Taryn Parks—800m Run—Greencastle
Britney Peachey—Standing Long Jump—State College
Kiana Purvis—Standing Long Jump—Chambersburg
Quinton Townsend—100m Dash—Annville
In April, The Hershey Co. and USA Track & Field announced a partnership that will transition the program into a national Run Jump Throw program, beginning in 2015 and extending through 2020. The new program will educate children ages 7-12 on the fundamentals of track and field. In addition, Hershey will become title sponsor of Run Jump Throw in Canada where it has been a long-standing youth skill-development program. These meets feature collectively more than 5,000 youth athletes, which will help Hershey expand its impact in Track & Field.
Skills taught as part of the new curriculum include warm-ups, running, jumping and throwing techniques. These skills clinics will be followed by “practice meets,” which will allow children to test their newly acquired skills.
“This partnership with USA Track & Field and Athletics Canada will enable more kids to have access to physical activity experiences close to home,” said Leigh Horner, vice president of corporate communications & CSR at The Hershey Co. “We look forward to working with these terrific organizations to help youth develop basic running, jumping and throwing skills and enjoy a variety of sports and recreation interests.”