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Registration Open for Tommie Smith Track Meet

Friday July 20, 2007

The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness is seeking youth ages 5 to 18 to register for the second annual Tommie Smith Track & Field Meet presented by The Humana Foundation. The meet is an AAU sanctioned event and will be held Friday, August 10 (throwing events) and Saturday, August 11 at the University of Louisville’s Owsley Frazier Cardinal Park, 2200 S. Floyd Street.

The registration is free and the deadline is Friday, July 27. After July 27 there will be an additional $10 fee for late registration. On-line registration is available at www.LouisvilleKy.gov/health. For more information, phone 574-8045. First, second and third place medals will be awarded to participants in each event and all participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt. Last year more than 300 young people participated in the event.

Tommie Smith won the Gold Medal in the 200 meters at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. Mr. Smith has organized track and field meets as well track clubs for youth in Oakland, Calif. and Paris France. Smith gained worldwide prominence when he and teammate, bronze medal winner John Carlos, raised gloved fists during the medal ceremony to protest racial discrimination in America. The photo of this nonviolent demonstration became one of the iconic images of the 1960s and 70s.

The Tommie Smith Louisville Track & Field Meet is part of an ongoing initiative to increase physical activity in children and promote participation in local track clubs. The clubs are being designed so that children of all ability levels can be successful.

“Youth track programs can help nurture and empower young people. It’s a great way to get kids moving and physically active,” said Dr. Adewale Troutman, director, Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness.

"We're very pleased to support these young athletes,” said Virginia K. Judd, executive director of The Humana Foundation. “Early engagement in sport events like the Tommie Smith Track Meet encourages our youth to keep their bodies healthy while also strengthening their spirits through team competition. This program is a win/win for the participants and the community."

The Tommie Smith Youth Track Initiative is an initiative under the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement and the newly created Center for Health Equity. The center was created to eliminate health inequities based on race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status

The mission of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness is to protect, preserve and promote the health, environment and well-being of the people of Louisville. To learn more about the Health Department’s programs and services go to www.louisvilleky.gov/health.