By Shaunna Cullen
A fun run and inspirational speech from former CCSU football player and New England Patriots running back Justise Hairston were organized for YWCA's Summer Sizzler participants at Walnut Hill Park to celebrate Worldwide Olympic Day, Friday, June 23, 2017. Olympic Day gives kids the opportunity to get active and learn about Olympic values such as friendship, respect, and excellence.
The children were excited to begin the race which was a one-mile fun run around Walnut Hill Park. Despite the distance and the heat, all the children ran or walked and completed the loop, demonstrating the perseverance Justise spoke about. Congratulations to the winners of the race- Male First Place: Immanuel Callendar and Female First Place: Caitlin Prokop.
"Introducing the Olympic values to our youngest participants is a great way to kick off summer. Summer is an important time for youngsters to be active and enhance social skills through building relationships. Emphasizing teamwork and supporting each other in cooperative play are key values highlighted during our annual Olympic Day," said Mallory Deprey, School Age Coordinator.
An officer from the New Britain Police Department and Sting, the New Britain Bee's mascot, came to spend some time with the kids after the fun run. The kids asked the officer some some great questions such as what kinds of things he carried on his belt, what the different patches on his shirt mean, and who he talks to on his walkie-talkie. Sting handed out tickets to a New Britain Bees baseball game so everyone could see a game with their family this season. A huge thank you to the New Britain Bees for providing our friends with this opportunity!
After cooling down with lots of water and shade, the Buzzin Bistro food truck operated by Whitson's Culinary Group delivered meals for lunch.
The YWCA New Britain Olympic Day event is one of more than 2,000 events that took place nationwide during the month of June. Olympic Day, created in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games, focuses on the Olympic values and ideals such as fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship. The events, designed to engage youth and promote the ideals of the Olympic movement, feature athlete appearances, family-friendly activities, and interactive learning experiences.
Olympic Day proved to be a challenging but fun event for the Summer Sizzlers. Visit our Facebook page for race videos and pictures.