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Hardy School holding Ninja Warrior event

By Rama K. Ramaswamy

On April 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Hardy School community will host their annual fundraiser event, Wellesley Ninja Warrior, at Action Athletics on 475 Washington Street. A unique day of action-packed, family-friendly fun, the event will have kids jumping, crawling and climbing as they experience the same obstacle course used by athletes training for the popular television show, “American Ninja Warrior.” There will be activities for every level, age 4 and up, including food, games, prizes and more.

“Last year, Daniel had a successful season in the NNL and went into finals in first place, with the highest point total in the country," said Hardy parent Dawn Woods of her son’s experience with the National Ninja League (NNL). However, due to an early obstacle gone wrong, his season unexpectedly came to end. “It was a harsh reality, but he stayed for the rest of the weekend competition, cheered on his friends (one of whom went on to come in second in the country), and vowed not to let it happen again. When I asked him to reflect on this season of ninja, he admitted he got a little bit stronger on the obstacles compared to last year, but his main goal this year was to improve his concentration. Which he did. The National competition ran over time this year, and unfortunately he wound up competing at 9:30 p.m. His attention was spot-on. Especially given the late hour, his focus probably is what mattered most this year."

Woods also asked her other son, Paul, what he thinks abut when he’s in a competition on a course. "I don't think about anything except the course,” he replied. “For better or for worse, I do not hear the crowd or people cheering. I can't really hear the coaches, either!"

"I love ninja because it combines multiple aspects from a large variety of sports. Anybody can do it for fun or competitively," said Willie Franklin, who attended Schofield Elementary School. “My favorite obstacle is the peg board. You have freedom to use any technique or way that you want."

And what did he learn from the experience?

“I always wait for my turn and get very nervous as I see great ninjas fall on certain obstacles. I have to remind myself that I can do it and mistakes happen. This sport really humbled me and I learned that you have to work really hard for something if you want it. My goals are to get more people into the sport. I love training with my friends."

Parent Annalisa Weigel described her daughter, Teafilia Waltson’s, experience. “She qualified for the NNL Nationals at the competition held at Action Athletics in January,” said Weigel. “She then competed in the NNL Nationals in February in Michigan, successfully completing Stage 1, and falling on the fourth obstacle of Stage 2. That performance was good enough to earn her 8th place for girls 6-8 years old. She is 7 years old and in 2nd grade at Sprague Elementary."

“You get stronger when you do it,” Teafilia said about her favorite aspect of ninja. Like Willie, she’s also learned from the experience.

Weigel said that her daughter doesn't understand why people distinguish athletes as "girls or boys; they're just all athletes. Ninjas are ninjas.”

Pre-purchase tickets for Wellesley Ninja Warrior are available at: hardywnw.eventbrite.com.

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