Buses carrying some of the youth of all eight NYC Collaborative of Boys & Girls Clubs rolled into the Icahn Stadium parking lot on Randall’s Island on Thursday, August 1st. Inside, 3,600 children from the ages of 5-13 occupied the stadium, creating a multicolored sea of t-shirts—sporting the Boy & Girls logo. They were separated by chapter: Children’s Aid Society, Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, Education Alliance, Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, Madison Boys & Girls Club, Moshulu Montefiore Community Center and Variety Boys & Girls Club.
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The children were welcomed by Dominique Jones, the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem to the 1st Annual Boys & Girls Club Field Day. Deputy Manhattan Borough President, Aldrin Bonilla, instructed the kids to “have fun, meet somebody new, play well, show sportsmanship and have a great day.”
Council member, Andy King, electrified the children in their seats with chants. The kids erupted in cheers and clapped their hands; some even got on their feet. King explained how integral the Boys & Girls Club was for his development and how it, “produces winners.”
One by one the chapters took to the track on the ground in front of the stadium. A parade commenced on the path which surrounded a field that had been pre-organized with the athletic courses the kids would eventually partake in. Each chapter was led by a group holding a special banner which they had collectively created before arriving. The arena was filled with a plethora of chants, cheers and rhythmic drumming.
The activities began: football, tag, hula-hooping, sack racing and more. Bright smiles and laughter saturated the air while the children practiced good health, wellness habits, strong character and leadership skills until the day concluded.
Check out the video below recapping the inaugural Field Day experience!