Last Friday, hundreds of students participated in a day-long sports clinic hosted by Nike at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park as part of their “Go Play Day.”
Emceed by Melissa Ortiz, a former member of the Colombian women’s soccer team, the day of play included baseball, softball, soccer and skateboarding.
Every participant was also given a free Nike soccer ball.
“At Nike, we believe that sport changes everything,” said Erica Bullard, Nike’s vice president and general manager of New York City. “We believe that sport makes the world a better place, for yourselves, your community and the world.”
Bullard, a three-sport athlete in high school and two-sport athlete in college, said sports taught her teamwork and how to get organized.
“Sport can unlock things you couldn’t even imagine,” she said. “We want you guys to get out there and get active.”
As part of their “Go Play Day,” Nike committed nearly $1 million to restore Field 7 into a brand-new synthetic turf soccer field. The company also refurbished and added new elements to Maloof Skate Park at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, a longtime runner, charged the students to “get involved in a sport that will change your life.”
“Have fun, stay healthy and continue being active throughout your whole life,” Silver said.
Lacey Baker, an athlete on the Nike Skate Team, noted that the skate park was modeled after the “legendary” Unisphere.
“It’s awesome to see it get updated,” Baker said. “A lot of people come here and it’s a really awesome space for the community in Queens to come skate.”