Campus & Community

Kids rule at Sports Fest

2 min read
Lisa Kowal ’01, Harvard women’s basketball point guard, mentors Michelle Peguero, 10, a 4th-grader at the Thomas Gardner Elementary School in Allston. Staff photo by Kris Snibbe.

Mayor Thomas Menino joined hundreds of local youths, student athletes, and coaches last Friday (April 28) to kick off the annual Sports Festival held at Harvard. Designed to celebrate the culmination of this year’s Youth and Student-Athlete Collaborative program, the festival drew 1,200 local youngsters to learn from varsity student-athletes and coaches from Harvard, Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, and UMass-Boston. Amid a flurry of balls, rackets, bats, and nets, kids took part in sports skills seminars, demonstrations, and drills.

Started in 1995, the Youth and Student-Athlete Collaborative program is a joint effort among the five schools and the Boston Police Department to bring kids from neighborhoods throughout Boston together with student-athletes. Throughout the school year, youngsters participate in fun, relaxed, and informal activites that help them build self-esteem and develop long-term relationships.

Luc Richardson, 14, an 8th-grader at St. Kevin’s School in Dorchester, lets one fly under the guidance of J.C. Harrington, a freshman quarterback on the Harvard football team. Staff photo by Kris Snibbe. <br /><img src=”” align=”CENTER” /><br /> Athletic Director Bill Cleary jokes around with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (right) during the sports festival inside the Gordon Track. Staff photo by Justin Ide.