Olympics, Rockaway Style, Coming In 2012
“Rock-Olympics 2012 is something that the  Precinct Community Council will be the lead agency as far as doing, just what it is, an Olympics on the Rockaway peninsula,” said Denean Ferguson, the vice president of the precinct community council at this month’s meeting. “Not just Far Rockaway, not just the east end, but the entire peninsula. The main issues are addressing the recreational, health and safety of the youth.” The idea, according to Ferguson, came about in an effort by residents and police personnel to improve relations between the community and the police.
“An underlying goal is to bring pride in the peninsula and harmony through teamwork, east and west, collectively,” said Ferguson. “Local residents and others will be exposed to the many recreational amenities, facilities, and organizations indigenous to the peninsula.” Ferguson added that they hope to us the new parks – Far Rockaway East and Far Rockaway West – currently being built on the east end of the peninsula.
“There’s some venues we want to be using along the peninsula,” continued the community council vice president. “[We want to do] different sports and activities [including] mind activities.”
Among the sports already on the agenda are Track and Field, Volleyball, an obstacle course, swimming, tennis, soccer, basketball, football, softball, lacrosse, cricket, skateboarding, and boxing. Intellectual activities such as chess, spelling bee, essay writing, and poetry are also scheduled.
“We already have a network of agencies on the peninsula and will be reaching out to certain individuals to work with the main core of the planning committee,” added Ferguson. “At some point [hopefully in the spring], we will bring everyone to supporting [and] getting the word out.”
Ferguson explained that, “The planning committee for Rock-Olympics 2012 Planning will consists of monthly committee meetings and trainings for the team leaders/coaches and participants to begin the Olympic trials leading up to 2012 main events. The primary goal for planning includes determining dates, game inclusion, venues, conduct leader/coach training sessions, develop and roll out marketing materials, and commence participant trials.”
Danny Ruscillo, the president of the 100 Precinct Community Council supports the idea for a peninsula-wide Olympics. “I think it’s great,” said Ruscillo. “Anything that has to do with [young people] is good.”
Those taking part in the planning will include community leaders who can network to youth service organizations including Parks and Recreation, the Police Athletic League, and public and private schools in the district.
“The overall impact of Rock- Olympics 2012 is expected to generate excitement across genders and age groups, and foster greater unity peninsula wide,” said Ferguson.
An “open call” to attract participants to the planning committee is scheduled for February 11 at 10 a.m. The Rock- Olympics 2012 Planning Committee Formation Meeting is scheduled will take place at 1603 Central Avenue at Harlem Dowling.Participants must be prepared to commit to a year long project that will include meetings and completing various tasks that will lead up to the games.