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Youth Sports Program Celebrates Olympic Year

Date: 
07/02/2008 - 11:27

fasttrack08logo.jpg July 2, 2008 (Eugene, OR) The Hershey Company brought sweet inspiration to young athletes at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials and in celebration of this Olympic year, Hershey provided young athletes with a once-­in-­a-­lifetime opportunity to learn track and field tips from Olympic legends Carl Lewis and Rafer Johnson at the Eugene 08 Youth Day presented by Hershey's Track - Field Games held on July 1. Hundreds of children received hands-on skills demonstrations and instruction from track and field¹s greatest stars. During Youth Day, Hershey also announced the expansion of Hershey's FastTrack to Sports, a track and field program designed to make it easier for families to live active and healthy lifestyles.

"The Hershey Companys' partnership with Eugene Youth Day is an extension of our 31-year commitment to supporting youth fitness through the HersheyTrack & Field Games," said Jody Cook, Director of Product Publicity, The Hershey Company. "We are proud to partner with these Olympic champions to demonstrate the importance of physical fitness, not only at the Olympic Trials, but also in schools and homes throughout the United States."

Along with partners Nike, Oregon Track Club and the Eugene Recreation Department, the Hershey's Track & Field Games provided an action-packed event for youth track and field enthusiasts including the Oregon Track Club All Comers Meet, Youth Clinics and an autograph session with Lewis and Johnson. Eugene '08 Youth Day took place from 4:30 p.m. -­ 9 p.m. at Hayward Field, site of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials.

During the event, Hershey also announced that its Hershey's FastTrack to Sports program is now available for any parent, coach, educator or child interested in living more active and healthy lifestyles. Hershey's FastTrack to Sports was developed in conjunction with Lewis and Athletics Canada to instruct children in the basics of track and field, which serve as the fundamentals for all sports and many everyday activities. It was first launched in 2007 as a pilot program for the National Recreation and Parks Association and is now available by visiting www.hersheystrackandfield.com. In addition to allowing enthusiasts to sign up to receive the program, the site also offers an abbreviated online instructional video that teaches adults and children basic track and field skills.

"I'm proud to be associated with such a worthwhile program," said Lewis, nine-time Olympic gold medalist. "Both the Hershey's Track & Field Games and Hershey's FastTrack to Sports introduce children to physical fitness through basic events like running, jumping and throwing. The programs encourage children to reach their potential and develop a sense of accomplishment."

The Hershey's Track & Field Games is the longest-running youth program of its kind in the United States and Canada. For 31 years, Hershey's Track & Field Games has offered fun and quality recreation and school programs, introducing children to physical fitness through basic track and field events like running, jumping and throwing. Open to boys and girls ages nine to 14, the games attract more than 400,000 participants annually who compete in local, district, state and provincial meets held across North America from April through July. Hershey's Track & Field Games brings at least five finalists from each of the 50 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces and three Canadian territories to the North American Final Meet, held July 31; August 3 at Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pa. In total, 560 child athletes participate in the final event and get the chance to meet some of the greatest athletes in track and field.

Individuals looking to participate in or host a local meet should visit www.hersheystrackandfield.com

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