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New York City Sports Commissioner Kenneth J. Podziba announced today that the Impact Player Hall of Fame Ceremony will be held at the New York Athletic Club on Saturday, July 31, 2004. Impact Player Partners is a program designed to show appreciation to the disabled men and women returning from the war in Iraq.

“It is an honor to welcome the Impact Player Hall of Fame Ceremony to New York City,” said Commissioner Kenneth Podziba. “This event marks a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness for this fantastic program that honors individuals who exhibit the ability to overcome adversity. I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the honorees for their achievements and service in their respective sports.”

The event will be hosted by the former All-Pro running back Christian Okoye from Enugu, Nigeria. In addition, Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe, and Dick Traum, the Founder of the Achilles Track Club, will be inducted into the Impact Player Hall of Fame. All of the inductees must have achieved the highest level of performance in their sport and have positively changed society through character, integrity, and service to humanity.

"Christian Okoye and I are overwhelmed at the hospitality that the City of New York and the New York City Sports Commission have shown the Impact Player Hall of Fame Ceremony," said Dick Lynch, co-founder of the event. "We are thrilled to be in the Big Apple to salute these Impact Players who not only played a pivotal role in shaping their sport but also in positively impacting society."

"The Robinson family is tremendously honored for the recognition of having my grandfather inducted into the Impact Player Hall of Fame,” said Jesse Simms, the grandson of Jackie Robinson who will be accepting the award. “We look forward to working with Christian and Dick in giving back to the community."

To learn more about the Impact Player Hall of Fame or to register for the celebration please visit their website at

The New York City Sports Commission ensures the continuation and growth of a healthy environment for professional, amateur and scholastic sports activities in New York City. In recent years, the Sports Commission has played a role in attracting or creating many new sporting events, including the NFL Kickoff Live from Times Square, the BMC Software NYC Cycling Championship, the NYC Fiesta Cup, Senior Men's Tennis Championship, Let Freedom Run and The Wild Onion Urban Adventure Race. The agency is also working with NYC2012 to bring the Olympic Games to The World's Second Home

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