The eighth annual Uptown Games held at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in Washington Heights this past Saturday, June 1, was more than an event to promote physical activity. It provided youth from Harlem and Washington Heights in grades first through eighth a venue for their continued social-emotional development using sports as a galvanizing vehicle.

“The Armory is delighted to again host this celebration of our vibrant community by welcoming everyone to a day of fun and Uptown Games,” said Armory Foundation Co-President Rita Finkel.

With their families enjoying the festive atmosphere at arguably the most pre-eminent indoor track and field facility in the United States, the over 500 elementary and middle school students engaged in several track and field disciplines, transitioning to various stations that included the long jump, shot-put, 60-meter races, 4×100 meter relay races and instruction to improve track & field techniques. The stations were led by experienced track and field coaches and athletes.

Among the elected officials and other community leaders on hand to greet and speak with the attendees and participants were Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; Manhattan Director, Office of the Mayor Remy Salas; Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez; Congressman Adriano Espaillat; State Senator Robert Jackson; and Assembly Woman Carmen De La Rosa.

Notable sponsors of the Uptown Games included The Armory Foundation; Columbia University Irving Medical Center NewYork-Presbyterian; New York Road Runners; the Chamber of Commerce of Washington Heights & Inwood; Coogan’s Restaurant; Whole Foods Market; the New York Yankees; The Citizenship Project; Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages; Energice; and KPMG.