Thousands of city kids competed on Randall’s Island in the City Parks Foundation's Track and Field Championship. NY1’s Roger Clark has more on the program that got them to the starting line.
Marching around a track where world records have been broken, kids from all five boroughs prepared to compete against each other and have some fun. But there were some butterflies.
"I'm a little nervous though, but I'm trying not to freak out,” said participant Patricia Leal.
The excitement is over the City Parks Foundation's Track and Field Championship Meet at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island. It's the culmination of a free summer program offered twice a week at 11 parks around the city.
"Our goals really is to get kids out in the parks staying active off the streets,” said Mike Silverman of the City Parks Foundation.
City Parks Foundation works with the Parks department to organize activities like golf, tennis and fitness programs. But this day it was all about the running, jumping and throwing for 2,000 young athletes, after a summer of training from top notch instructors.
"A lot of our coaches have been coaching in High School or college for more than ten years. We have some college athletes, division one division two athletes coaching with the kids,” said Pat Dormer of City Parks Foundation.
So the budding track and field stars here now have a truckload of knowledge about the events they compete in.
"You should pace yourself and not go too fast in the beginning and in the end you go fast,” said runner Matthew Febles.
"With a lot of training, I learned that you can get scared, but you start to put it behind you when you know what to do later on,” said athlete Arriane McDonald.
So they learned about a lot more than just technique.
"A tip that I have is to believe in yourself because if you believe in yourself I believe you can do anything,” said Jasmin Davis.
While this meet marks the end of the track season for the City Parks Foundation, there's still some golf left and some special tennis clinics coming up.
For more information, go to www.cityparksfoundation.org.