Community Sports

A sports and community complex in Louisville’s West End will be the site of several national track and field and cross country competitions over the next two years. 

USA Track & Field, the national governing body for track and field, cross country and race walking, announced Monday it will host five youth and adult championships in 2023 and 2024 — three at the 24-acre Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Complex, whose indoor facility opened last year on West Muhammad Ali Boulevard, and two at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in the city’s East End. 

The project is expected to bring around 14,000 athletes and their families to the city, providing an estimated $10.4 million in economic impact, said Kentucky State Parks Commissioner Russ Meyer.

Sadiqa Reynolds is the president and CEO of the Louisville Urban League, which was behind the effort to bring this facility to the West End, a majority-Black part of Louisville that faced decades of disinvestment due to racist policies such as redlining. 

She said when those on her team wrote the document to request $10 million in funding from the city to help build the center, “we told them there would be millions of dollars of economic impact from this project. And so now, what we are doing is showing and proving.”

USATF CEO Max Siegel said Louisville was picked for its rich sports history and geography to be among the dozen cities across the United States  to host the events. He said he’s excited for the teams to compete at the Norton complex, which the USATF had some input in designing. 

“This just gives us so much pride,” he said. “We’ve been supportive since the very beginning and I’m excited to say that for years to come we’re going to support the events and the initiatives that happen here.”

USATF events in Louisville 

— National Masters Indoor Championship, March 10-12, 2023, Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center 

— National Youth Indoor Championship, March 17-19, 2023, Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center 

— National Junior Olympics Cross-Country Championships, Dec. 9, 2023, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park

— National Youth Indoor Championship, March 8-10, 2024, Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center 

— National Junior Olympics Cross-Country Championships, Dec. 14, 2024, E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park

Aprile Rickert is WFPL's health reporter.