Track and field fundraiser
This year’s 30th annual Irvine Junior Games are on May 7 at Irvine Stadium. The event draws some 1,500 Irvine fourth through eighth grade athletes who run, jump, throw and shoot baskets. The competition includes track events such as 50 and 100 meter sprints; 400, 800 and 1500 meter long distance runs; and school relays. The opening ceremony features a parade of all the athletes marching with their schools, and includes the national anthem and the lighting of the Irvine Junior Games flame.
The student athletes who compete in Irvine Junior Games come from 31 IUSD elementary and middle schools. The event draws 3,000 spectators and depends on the generosity of 300 volunteers and numerous sponsors, including Hoag, the 2017 presenting sponsor.
The Junior Games are put on by and support the Irvine Children’s Fund (ICF). The goal of the ICF and the Junior Games is to make it possible for local low-income working families to have access to child care programs at all 25 elementary schools in Irvine.
The mission of nonprofit ICF is to raise funds to provide scholarships to low-income working families for before and after school child care, to expand and maintain childcare facilities, and to support child wellness services on the Irvine Unified School District elementary school sites. ICF accomplishes this primarily through grants and the Irvine Junior Games.
The Junior Games are for a great cause, but they’re also a lot of fun for the kids who compete and the spectators. There is serious competition, with bragging rights for individual schools, too.
Medal winners and record holders from past Junior Games are listed on the Irvine Children’s Fund website. There are future Orange County track stars among the record holders, including Jake Ogden, who ran a 4.15.96 in the 1500 meters as an 8th grader in 2012. Michelle Sanford, who still holds the girls Junior Games record for the 100 meters, ran the race in a time of 13.19 back in 1999 when she was an 8th grader. Ogden currently runs track and cross country at Furman University, while Sanford had an excellent collegiate career at USC. Prior to that, she won three state track championships in the triple jump and long jump while at Woodbridge High School, where she was called the best jumper in the nation.
To see future track stars and kids having fun, come out to the Irvine Junior Games and support education and children in your community.
Irvine Junior Games
May 6, 10 a.m. -3 p.m.
Adults $10, Children $2