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Somers Summer Youth Track Program Draws Crowds

SOMERS, N.Y. – The Summer Youth Track Program (SYTP) at Somers High School is already under way – but it’s not too late to join in.

Youngsters between the ages of five and 18 are welcome to come any Monday and/or Thursday evening to take part in track and field sports and have an all-around good time.

The idea came to Somers resident Richard Nash when his four-year-old daughter joined the Taconic Road Runners Club (TRRC). She enjoyed it so much that Nash thought other children should have the same opportunity.

Nash’s program, sponsored by the TRRC, in cooperation with the Somers Central School District, began about 12 years ago. “We were expecting 20 or 30 kids. We got close to 100,” Nash recalled. “Now we get almost 600, but we don’t like to turn away any child. Kids come from all over – the Bronx, Fairfield, Westchester, Rockland. We’ve got around 30 coaches and 20 or 25 high school volunteers. There’s no other track program like it.”

Participants are divided by age and receive colored wrist bands so they can find their peer group. They start with warm-up exercises in the infield, go on to do three or four laps around the track and finish up with long jumps, high jumps, pole vaults, hurdles, and games like duck, duck, goose.

“While the kids do their routines, the parents walk around the track, so everybody gets fit at the same time,” added co-organizer Joanna Nash.

A single session costs $5. For $35, participants can sign up for the entire season (June 25 through Aug. 2). Groups meet every Monday and Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., rain or shine (unless there is lightning or thunder). Season members also get a year’s TRRC membership, a tee-shirt and an invitation to the end-of-season picnic.

“We keep the costs down,” said Nash, “and whatever is left goes towards our three scholarship funds.”

To register, or for more information, go to www.runner.org .

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