2011-11-18 / Columnists

Rockaway Teen Challenge Report

Commentary By Denean Ferguson Event Coordinator

This is the first of a monthly series of reports about the coming Rockaway Teen Challenge – an Olympics-like event for local teenagers.

In a collaborative effort with the 101 Precinct, spearheaded by the 101 Precinct Community Council, the Rockaway Olympics 2012 Planning Committee was formed in February of this year. In attendance were elected official representatives and youth-serving organizations representing the entire peninsula. Since then, a website was designed, and a logo contest conducted with great support from local residents and the Queens Library. Nelson Glen, resident and Far Rockaway Library regular, is the winning logo designer.

Coach Mentor trainings have commenced with the expert leadership of Ray Diaz, Senior Program Manager at NYCHA. Several programs, including Shawn Slevin of the Swim Strong foundation have pledged their support. Deputy Inspector Lipetri, 101 Precinct Commanding Officer, has always shown enthusiasm in attending meetings and volunteering to work with youth competing in lacrosse.

In September, formal permission was sought to use the word “Olympics” in the initiative’s name. With trademark rights, the United States Olympic Committee denied the request. The executive members of the 101 Precinct Community Council selected Rockaway Teen Challenge as the new name. The website address, www.rockawayolympics.com, will be transitioning. The digitized logo has been modified to the new name by Conrad Davis of the Teen Library. There have not been and will not be any changes to the torch within the logo. As drawn, it does not meet any copyright or trademark infringement.

An underlying goal of Teen Challenge is to bring pride in the peninsula and harmony through teamwork, east and west, collectively. Our goals to create life opportunities for youth in a safe and crime-free environment while allowing for the attainment of identified personal needs and goals, and provide innovative recreational experiences that empower the Rockaway community are possible through a united effort.

The name has changed, but the cause continues ...

The Rockaway Teen Challenge 2012 initiative’s first signature event was on Saturday, November 5 at the recently opened Skateboard Park at Beach 13 Street and Seagirt Boulevard.

Teen Challenge Basketball exhibition in partnership with NYC Housing Authority will be a 6-week tournament which began Thursday, November 10 at Hammels Center. Games will be on Tuesday and Thursday at Hammels and on Wednesday at Sorrentino Center from 6:30-830 p.m. If you know some youth aged 12 - 19 with skills, have them contact Denean Ferguson at 646-552-8453.

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