Hershey Games come to Bacon Academy track
By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Tue., May. 31, 2011
Every year, more than 100,000 students between the ages of 9 and 14 years old participate in what has become the largest youth sports program in North America– the Hershey Games. Started in 1975 by Dr. Donald Cohen as a means of increasing fitness and self-esteem in children, the games have grown to include participants from all 50 states and all provinces of Canada.
On Thursday, May 26, the Hershey Games came to Colchester, as the Parks and Recreation Department hosted a group of more than 100 kids at the Bacon Academy track. They participated in a variety of dashes, the standing long jump and the softball throw, all for the chance to move on to eventually take part in the final meet, to be held Aug. 6 in Hershey, Pa.
“Because the Bacon Academy track is new, we were able to hold it here,” said Recreation Specialist Amanda Herzog, who coordinated the town’s first Hershey Games.
The games went off without a serious hitch, and feedback has been very positive, said Herzog, who plans to make the Hershey Games an annual event in Colchester.
“Hopefully, next year and the year after it will be even more successful,” she said, attributing much of the success of the games to the small army of volunteers who did everything from timing races to making sure that all of the necessary equipment was available.
Calling the volunteers “the backbone” of the games, Herzog said, “I’m really extremely happy with the volunteers. They were really wonderful.”
One of those volunteers was Chris Connolly, who was measuring distance for the softball throw.
“If you live in town, you try to do as much as you can,” he said of his reason for volunteering, even though he had no children in the games.
Winners of the individual events (go to www.colchesterct.gov/Pages/ColchesterCT_Dept/PR/ColchesterCT_RecAnnounce... for a complete list) will move on to a district meet to face winners from other games across the area, and from there to a state meet and a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Hershey for the finals.
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