A local chapter of a national organization that promotes soundness of body and mind is sending a team to the Midwest to compete in a national competition.
American Turners New York, which has its NYC-based headquarters in Throggs Neck, will field teams comprised of youth and adults to compete in a variety of sports at the 55th National Turner Competition in Fort Wayne, IN in July.
The event, sometimes called ‘Turnfest,’ also includes cultural competitions and is the longest running festival in the United States, occurring every four years.
“It’s like a mini-Olympics with a family flavor,” said Terry Fardella, ATNY president.
Elaine Makowski, ATNY vice president, said that it was the first time in about 20 years that the local Turners have fielded a group to compete at the nationals.
Plans have already been made for lodging and travel for at least 16 youth and adults, all of whom are members of the private organization.
The ATNY team will compete in swimming, golf, pickleball (a racquet sport), drill, track and field, and cultural competitions which include the performing and visual arts, said Arlene Grauer, ATNY past vice president.
Both youth and adults will be competing in the tournaments, said Grauer, adding that the organization is looking to make use of all that their national parent group has to offer, including the ‘turnfest’ and some scholarships.
“(The trip) should develop a new feeling of ‘esprit de corps,’” said Grauer, adding “The kids will get to see another part country, and compete like they haven’t done before.”
Grauer said that she was helping with the planning which is easy for her because she has family in the Fort Wayne area.