Founded in 1999 by Susan Waterfall, CityTrack offers a high-quality track and field program to students in Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood. Since its establishment, it has served more than 3,000 children from dozens of under-resourced communities, helping them develop athletic confidence, stronger physical abilities, and healthy exercise habits.
Eligibility. Schools – both public and parochial – that serve children in grades 6-8 in the Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood neighborhoods are eligible to participate with a maximum of 30 children per school. Chaperones from each school accompany the runners to and from practice. Students learn basic running drills and track events, from the long jump to hurdles to the 100-meter dash. Experienced coaches lend their expertise and guide the student-athletes in learning the basics and challenging themselves to excel.
Schedule. CityTrack meets twice per week on Mondays & Wednesdays (3:30-5:00pm) beginning in mid-October and ending in May. More information can be found on our CityTrack Registration page.
Impact. The benefits of exercise are significant. For children in and outside of our community, exercise can:
Improve body composition through increased bone density levels, muscle strength, and cardiovascular health
Fight obesity (1 in 4 Washington Heights & Inwood children in grades K-8 are obese, slightly higher than the citywide count of 1 in 5)
Improve stamina and energy levels
Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
Reduce the risk of diabetes
Develop gross and fine motor skills
Enhance confidence and self-esteem
Additionally, approximately 25% of all residents & one-third of children in Northern Manhattan live in poverty. CityTrack does not charge its participants in an effort to provide accessible exercise to local children and steer them toward healthy futures.
A word class facility with professional coaches at no cost to families.
By partnering with The Armory Foundation to administer the CityTrack program, our coaches and runners are able to utilize The Armory’s resources in unprecedented ways. Not only do CityTrack athletes get to practice in a world-famous facility, they have the chance to see world-class athletes perform around them!
Over 250 Rio Olympians have competed at The Armory. The track currently hosts over 100 meets annually, with between 500 and 5,000 competitors per meet. Last year, more than 125,000 athletes, coaches, parents and fans from 1,000 high schools and 36 states visited The Armory.
CityTrack 2018-2019 by the numbers:
255 middle school students
Representation from 30 different schools
85% of students live in Washington Heights, Inwood or Harlem; 15% reside in the Bronx and attend school in Northern Manhattan