A Place For Development

In the name of full disclosure, HepsTrack is involved with the new website coming to ArmoryTrack.com on August 1. More to come on that later. The above photo of N.Y. Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh, Armory Foundation Executive Director Dr. Norb Sander and N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was taken by Mike Fitelson of the Manhattan Times.

I love The Armory in Manhattan’s Washington Heights. I love it for all the reasons that I have long loved the Penn Relays — from athletes of all levels getting their chance to shine to the diversity of people who come together in celebration.

But while the Penn Relays is a destination for thousands of athletes, The Armory is unique as it serves as a second home for many of them. At the New Balance Track & Field Center inside The Armory, it isn’t just about competing before family and friends. It is also about the commitment to practice as thousands of New York high schoolers show up daily for choreographed workouts that use nearly every imaginable space in the facility.

The story has been told. The Armory was reborn as a track & field facility about 20 years ago when David Dinkins, in his final days as the mayor of New York City, handed Dr. Norbert Sander the keys to the decaying building and wished him luck. What has happened since in Washington Heights will be Dr. Sander’s enduring legacy.

So it was nice to see that he was honored with a Leadership Award at the 2011 New York City Neighborhood Achievement Awards by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a ceremony at Gracie Mansion. The award was established in 2002 to “honor organizations, businesses and individuals that have demonstrated excellence in enhancing New York City neighborhoods by fostering economic opportunity.”

Dr. Sander’s Armory Foundation does more than that. It helps provide opportunities for young athletes to train, develop, compete and even earn athletic scholarships across the country. The honor was well deserved and HepsTrack is excited about helping tell the stories of The Armory.

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