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150,000 Youths to Participate in L.A. Inner-City Games

August 15, 1993|CHARLES SMITH | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

An estimated 150,000 youths are expected to participate in the 1993 Los Angeles Inner-City Games, an eight-day event that starts today and will feature a variety of sports, educational activities and supporting events.

The games will begin with opening ceremonies at 2:15 p.m. at the Shrine Auditorium, with Executive Commissioner Arnold Schwarzenegger and other celebrities scheduled to attend. The ceremonies will include a Fitness Expo, a youth expo for young entrepreneurs and an awards ceremony for the games' essay contest.

Sports competitions include basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, flag football, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, swimming, boxing, karate, weightlifting and track and field. Among the competition sites are UCLA, USC, Cal State Los Angeles, Roosevelt High School, the Hollenbeck Youth Center on the Eastside, Fremont High and the Crenshaw Auditorium.

All events are open to team and individual entries. No entry fee is required.

The Aug. 22 finale of the games will feature a 5K Run/Walk For Fitness and a Munchkin Mile for children 9 and under. Registration fee for the Run/Walk is $17, and a $500 cash prize will be awarded to the first-place winners in the male and female categories.

The first Los Angeles Inner-City Games for Fitness and Education was launched in 1991 with a vision of promoting and emphasizing positive interaction among the city's inner-city youth and young adults.

The Hollenbeck Youth Center, with Schwarzenegger as executive commissioner, held the first inner-city games in East Los Angeles, where more than 40,000 youths participated in sports, academic contests and volunteer work.

Last year, with the games taking place not long after the worst civil unrest in U.S. history, the games focused on involving as many youths as possible from riot-stricken areas. The games were expanded into other areas of Los Angeles, including 20 neighborhoods in South-Central, East Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. More than 100,000 youths and young adults participated.

Several events connected to this year's games have taken place over the past month. The First Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament, to benefit the Hollenbeck Youth Center and the Los Angeles Heart Institute's Pediatric Cardiac Care Program, was held Aug. 9 at the Riviera Country Club. More than 100 golfers joined 26 celebrities in the charity event.

On July 20, the Dodgers hosted Los Angeles Inner-City Games Family Day for 3,000 inner-city kids.

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