In previous years, more than 40 students participated in the event but attendance is now down to about 12 to 25, reported the Chicago Tribune.
"I'm surprised we don't get more because it is a free event," Deerfield Park District recreation Supervisor Jim Gariti told the Tribune. "The kids who do come to the event have a great time. For those who don't play baseball, softball, basketball, soccer and just want to run — this is great."
The HERSHEY’S Track & Field Games are the largest youth sports program of its kind in North America, with hundreds of thousands of children competing every year, according to their website.
Students who finish in the top two of in the event for their age group advance to state finals and qualify for a chance to be among the 480 athletes to compete at the national level in Hershey, Pa.
Any middle school student age 9 to 14 is invited to register now for the HERSHEY'S Track & Field Games set for Sunday, May 19, from noon and 3 p.m., at Deerfield High School.
Pre-registration is required (including the completion and submission of a local meet entry form) and may be done on-line or at Jewett Park Community Center at 836 Jewett Park Drive, in Deerfield. The registration deadline is May 17.
Meet events by age group include:
- 9-10: 50m dash, 100m dash, 200m dash, 400m dash; 4 x 100m relay, standing long jump, softball throw.
- 11-12: 100m dash, 200m dash, 400m dash, 800m run, 4 x 100m relay, standing long jump, softball throw.
- 13-14: 100m dash, 200m dash, 800m run, 1600m run, 4 x 100m relay, standing long jump, softball throw.
Participants may join up to 3 events (not all running).
For more information, contact Recreation Supervisor Jim Gariti at (847) 572-2627 or firstname.lastname@example.org.