Over 200 young people from eight Fall River neighborhoods competed in a Summer Olympic competition at the new B.M.C. Durfee field on August 13, 2008. Modeled after the 2008 Summer Olympics games in Beijing, children in Fall River prepared all summer for their own Olympic-style games through a Community Development Re-creation program funded by the City’s Healthy Lives project. Working in combination with the summer Park & Lunch program, CD-REC staff  currently offered young people a chance to practice the 40 yard dash, hurdles, tug of war, and a kick, punt and throw competition. Teams from North Park, Lafayette Park, Maplewood Park, Griffin Park, Father Diaferio Village, Abbott Court, Pulaski Park, Kennedy Park and Ruggles Park competed, each with their own team names and shirts, for medals in each event. For more information about the programs, contact CD-REC at 508-679-0922.

(Row one, left) Harry Souza of the Ruggles Park Radicals competes in the long jump. (Row one, center) Staff members Liz Jimenez and Brenda Candido of the Durfee Alternative School greet the Olympians. (Row one, right) Eleven-year-old Nadia McDermott kicks the soccer ball right at the target in the net. (Row two, left) Eleven-year-old Curtis Cobb moves into first place in the 40 yard dash. (Row two, center) Lafayette Park Legend team member Joey Benevides takes off in the long jump. (Row three, left) Six-year-old Keith Sullivan hops over the hurdles. (Row three, center) CD-REC Park & Lunch staff member Travis Barboza records race times while Jovani Rodriguez observes. (Row three, right) Ricky Hout, Damion Cunningham and Solmari Henriquez take a break from the action. (Row four) Sisters Tiffany and Savannah Anctil show how red their hands are after competing in the tug-of-war contest. (Row five, left) Twelve-year-old Tara McCann keeps her feet high over the hurdles. (Row five, center) Thirteen-year-old Ruben Polanco cools off Samantha Vilao and Nadia McDermott with some water. (Row five, right) Griffin Park Gladiator Chris Vedder competes as a finalist in the long jump competition. (Row six, center) Third place winner Omar Rojas, first place winner Tavon Pires and second place winner Derek Amaral stand with their medals in the 40 yard dash younger division. (Row six, right) CD-REC Executive Director Grace Gerling awards third place winner Tiago Soares, first place winner Kerry Harris and second place winner Kimani Washington in the 40 yard dash older division. (Row seven, left) Griffin Park Gladiators get rehydrated after the competition. (Row seven, center) Tavon Pires, right, joins his Griffin Park Gladiator team members in celebrating their first place team victory.

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