By David Gold

Carl Lewis_at_Hershey_celebrationMarch 17 - The Hershey Company has celebrated the 35th birthday of its "Hershey Track & Field Games" by inviting families to parties, that promote being active, throughout 2012.

The Games involve children aged between nine and 14 and encourages them to enjoy balanced and healthy lifestyles by competing in community sports activities.

It is the largest youth activity programme of its kind in North America and Hershey's senior vice-president Michele Buck spoke of her pride at the milestone.

"The Hershey Company is proud to be promoting physical activity for children and we are happy to share the Hershey's Track & Field Games' 35th birthday celebration with children and families across North America this year," she said.

"To date, more than 10 million children have participated in the Games, and this year we hope to encourage even more young people to run, jump and throw with our birthday-themed activities and events."

As part of the 35th birthday celebrations, families can visit to download a free run, jump and throw birthday party kit.

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The kit includes instructions on how to play a number of games, including "capture the birthday hat", "jump rope boogie" and "balloon blast".

Joining the fun will be Olympic legend and Games ambassador Carl Lewis, who won nine Olympic gold medals during his glittering career.

"I'm very excited to celebrate Hershey's Track & Field Games' 35th birthday," said Lewis.

"Hershey is one of the first companies to create a programme that encourages youth and family activity, and I've been honoured to be a part of it for so long.

"It's inspiring to meet kids from across the country and see the effect the programme has on their lives."

Participating children from last year's Games are eligible to qualify for their regional teams and the opportunity to be given an all expenses paid trip to compete in this summer's North American Final meet.

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