New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


Irv Black Invitational Comes Back to City

The Irv Black Invitational will come back to New Britain next month.

The meet is a full two-day Olympic Style Co-Ed Meet featuring various track and field events.

On July 14, 2010, Black, the retired New Britain High School track coach passed away. He coached cross country and track and field from 1953-1988 and won 28 state titles. Black is a member of the Connecticut High School Coaches Hall of Fame, the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame and the New Britain High School Hall of Fame.

“But, he is also remembered as a mentor to hundreds of kids who went on to become outstanding members of the society,” said Mayor Timothy Stewart in a letter about the event. “New Britain High School is proudly returning the Meet to the City of New Britain.”

Black founded the invitational in 1970 and it was called the Burritt Invitational, then the Brainerd Invitational before becoming the Irv Black Invitational.

John Bonetti, a member of the organizing committee for the event said, former track members got together and started an Irv Black Scholarship. The Invitational was held at Trinity College in Hartford where Black taught after leaving New Britain High School. Once he left, the event was held in Manchester, but this year the committee is taking it over.

“We have been getting donations to use as seed money,” said Bonetti, who is a former physical education teacher from Holmes School. “We are doing fundraising for the scholarship and money for the track team. It’s about what we can do for the kids.”

The event will have a ceremony honoring Irv Black. The event takes place on the Irv Black Field at Veteran’s Park. April 21 and 23.

Volunteers and donations are being sought.

“We need volunteers to act as officials, collect tickets and do a number of things,” said Bonetti.

Donations from $5 to $200 are being accepted for advertising in the program book.

For more information, contact Bonetti at 860-673-2904.