Colgate-Palmolive launched the first Colgate Women's Games in 1973, with 5,000 young women from the New York area participating in the initial series. Today, many thousands of registrants from all over the East Coast - from Boston to Virginia - compete. Preliminary meets and a semi-final competition determine finalists who compete for trophies and educational grants in aid at the Finals.
The Games' website at http://www.colgategames.com/ posts results for all point-scorers, so track stars from all over the country can now compare their times and scores with Colgate Women's Games competitors in their own age/grade division. College recruiters and members of the media can follow results after each preliminary meet as well.
Our goal is to provide an athletic competition that helps the participating young girls and women develop a strong sense of personal achievement, self-esteem, instill the importance of education and provide a training ground for those who might not otherwise participate in an organized sport.
All girls elementary grade 1 and up and young women who can attend and participate in the preliminaries at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute are eligible. No experience in track and field is necessary, but all girls of school age must be enrolled and attending school to take part.
WHY TRACK AND FIELD
Track and field is the great equalizer; it is unmatched for the health and mental well being it provides for experienced and novice athletes alike, and no expensive equipment is required.
Competition is divided into six age or grade divisions: Elementary A (grades 1 through 3), Elementary B (grades 4 through 5), Mid School (grades 6 through 8), High School (grades 9 through 12), College/Open and 30s-Plus.
There are eight events: 55-meter dash, 55-meter hurdles, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, 800-meter run, 1,500-meter run, high jump and shot put.
Brooklyn’s Fred Thompson founded the Games in 1974 with the generous support of Colgate Palmolive Company, which has remained the programs’ title sponsor for more than four decades. Thompson was a US Olympic Track Team coach, Founder of the Brooklyn Atoms Track Club, a US attorney, and a sportscaster for ABC Television, as well as the Colgate Women’s Games' Meet Director for forty years through 2014.
Cheryl Toussaint is an Olympic medalist and original member of the Thompson’s Brooklyn Atoms’ Track Club. She has been involved with the Games’ since their inception, first as a competitor, then an official, before becoming the Assistant Meet Director in 1999. In 2014, she took the reigns from a retiring Fred Thompson to become the Colgate Women’s Games’ Meet Director. Also a successful businesswoman, she founded Tousse Apparel, along the way.
LOCATIONS AND SPECIFICATIONS
Pratt Institute is located at 200 Willoughby Avenue, in Brooklyn Between Hall and DeKalb Streets. Preliminary and semi-finals competitions take place at Pratt’s Athletic & Recreation Center.
The Armory Track, NYC is located at the corner of Fort Washington Ave and West 168th Street New York, NY.
In addition to trophies and medals, Colgate awards educational grants-in-aid totaling $60,000 to the top three point-scorers at the end of the series.
As of 2019, the Colgate Women's Games count 26 Olympians as alumni; hundreds of age/grade division national champions and Junior Olympians, and countless changed lives. Many of these outstanding athletes have returned year-after-year as Colgate Games’ officials where they give back to others through the program that meant so much in their own lives.
By requiring school attendance to participate, the Colgate Women's Games offer an incentive for young people to complete their education. And with supplemental grants, they are encouraged to continue their education through college and beyond.
The Colgate Women's Games provide a unique vehicle for college recruitment of female athletes. University and college recruiters are often present at Colgate meets or request results sheets, and today's participants are among the most heavily recruited student athletes in the nation.
The Colgate Women's Games offer young people something positive to do. With financial support for after-school activities all but eliminated in far too many school districts, especially for girls, the Games and preparation for competition present a positive alternative.
The depth and length of commitment to these programs is testimony to the importance that Colgate-Palmolive places on our country's most important resource, our children. Colgate hopes their success will encourage other organizations to support similar corporate-involvement programs.
To find out more about Colgate-Palmolive's various programs, write to:
300 Park Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10022