USATF in the Community
The USATF national office staff, USA Track & Field members, volunteers, coaches and athletes are active in each of their communities in various ways. Each year, USATF-related community outreach touches thousands of lives either through Win with Integrity or individual efforts and partnerships with various entities. Below are just a few ways members of USATF and national office staff are involved in their communities. Click on the title to read the full story:
Venice Biennale - Dan O'Brien Performs at La Biennale Di Venezia
1996 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Dan O'Brien took the world stage of a different sort at the opening of La Biennale di Venezia, the 54th International Art Exhibition, in Venice, Italy. O'Brien ran on a treadmill as part of the opening week performance on "Track and Field," one of six newly commissioned works by Puerto Rico- based artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla that comprise the exhibition "Gloria."
The Indianapolis Museum of Art and the collaborative team of Allora and Calzadilla will transform the U.S. Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia, into a dynamic experience for visitors. The IMA has partnered with national athletic organizations USA Gymnastics and USA Track & Field on Body in Flight (Delta), Body in Flight (American), and Track and Field, which will incorporate performances by athletes at intervals throughout the duration of the exhibition. Body in Flight (Delta) and Body in Flight (American) are full-scale reproductions of the latest designs for business class seats found on U.S. commercial airlines. The stained wooden sculptures substitute for the balance beam and pommel horse, creating an unusual platform for a new language of movement that "contaminates" strict gymnastic routines. Track and Field will feature a full-scale, overturned military tank that has been repurposed by superimposing a functioning treadmill above its right track, on which USA Track & Field athletes will run.
The US Pavillion will be on view from June 4 through November 27, 2011.
To learn more about Gloria and the U.S. Pavilion, please visit: www.IMAmuseum.org/Venice
USA Track & Field’s Win with Integrity program partnered with the city of Eugene and the JS & Associates Youth Foundation to present an “Olympic Day” Win with Integrity event just prior to the 2011 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.
More than 200 youth participated in the event held behind the west grandstand at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus. Afterwards, youth took park in some drills led by O’Brien and Hayes, then were spectators at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Current Team USA athletes Kellie Wells, David Oliver and Trevell Quinley joined USATF Alumni athletes Joanna Hayes, Gary Morgan, Dan O’Brien and Johnny Gray for the event. They spoke to the youth about Olympism, their experiences in athletics and the benefits of living a healthy, active lifestyle while making good life choices. Commemorating the birth of the modern Olympic Games, Olympic Day is not only a celebration, but an international effort to promote fitness and well-being in addition to Olympic ideals of Fair Play, Perseverance, Respect and Sportsmanship.
Click here for Olympic Day photo gallery
Roadrunner Food Bank
USATF collected food donations for the Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico by during the 2011 USA Indoor Championships Presented by BMW. The meet was held February 26-27 at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The first 1,500 fans who donated goods received a free Indoor Championships program.
USA Track & Field partnered with Samaritan's Feet to collect and deliver shoes to impoverished children by utilizing the excitement of track and field, while promoting a healthy lifestyle. USATF and Samaritan's Feet collected 200 pairs of shoes from attendees of the 2009 USATF Annual Meeting held in Indianapolis, Ind., Dec. 2-6, 2010 and received an additional $200 in text-to-give donations.
Samaritan's Feet (www.samaritansfeet.org), is a humanitarian relief organization that puts shoes on kids feet all around the world. Its team of ambassadors demonstrates servant leadership by washing the feet of all the people receiving the shoes and they share with each recipient a message of hope. There are over 300 million children who wake up every morning without shoes. They suffer from diseases, infection and many other ailments because they don't have shoes to wear.
Samaritan's Feet (www.samaritansfeet.org), is a 501 c3 organization whose goal is to put 10 million pairs of shoes on children's feet in 10 years around the world. Samaritan's Feet was formed in 2003 andsix years later over2.5 million pairs of shoes have been donated to children in Africa, South America, the Caribbean and the U.S.
USATF Staffers Help Out IPS School 14
In 2009, USATF “adopted” IPS 14, located near downtown Indianapolis. IPS School 14 serves nearly 600 children in grades K-6. Several of USATF staff members participate in “Lunch Buddies,” sharing their lunch hours with students once a week during the school year. Lunch buddies act as mentors through sharing lunch time by doing an activity or just spending time with the children. In 2010, USATF staffers helped paint inspirational message on the walls of the lunchroom to help motivate the students. Occasionally, elite athletes – like Molly Huddle and Maurice Greene – stop in to visit the kids.
Additionally, USATF staffers created a cross-country program in 2009 for the school to provide an opportunity for students to be physically active, learn teamwork and learn running. National office staffers also act as cross country coaches and mentors to students.
Katie Landry and Blake Roebuck answered some questions regarding the cross country program during the second season.
Q: In 2009, how many kids came out to run?
Katie: Last year we had around 30 kids come out at the beginning of the season. We ended up with a dedicated group of approx. 15 kids.
Q: How often do you practice?
Katie: We practice twice a week for 8-10 weeks. Practice runs from 4-5 p.m..
Q: What do those practices entail?
Katie: When the weather is nice, we walk with the kids to Highlands Park. Generally practices consist of a warm-up, stretching, drills, some sort of "work-out" which could be a mile run, a relay race, or intervals. Some days are shorter and we play games like capture the flag or red-light, green-light. We generally end with a brief cool down and stretching.
Q: How many kids came out this year (2010)?
Q: Do they compete in an actual meet?
Katie: Last year we took a group of 10 to the Indiana Junior Olympic Association Championships. We are still looking at options for this year including taking a select group to an actual meet, as well as hosting our own inter-squad meet just to give the kids a taste of competition.
Blake: Then, we had a handful of children compete at the USATF JO Regional Meet in Terre Haute.
Q: Why do you think the program benefits IPS 14?
Katie: I think having a program that is free and open to everyone of all abilities gives kids who may not be able to participate in any other sports the opportunity to be a part of a team. We aren't trying to make this a super-competitive team, it is more about teaching these kids responsibility and teamwork. With such young kids, I think it is just great for them developmentally to be exposed to sports and see that exercise and being healthy can be fun.
Blake: The program gives the children the opportunity to be active, meet other children in their school challenge themselves physically and mentally, and we provide some guidance/leadership to the children they might not have in their lives.
Q: How does it benefit USATF?
Katie: I think giving back to our local community gives so much to or organization. I know personally while the practices can be draining, I find volunteering with the cross country team very rewarding. No matter what stresses you may have at the office, once you drive over to the school and start interacting with the kids, you really leave all of that behind.
Blake: Community service is very important. But, I do not believe this service benefits USATF as much as it does to the children. Many of these children do not have a positive influence in their lives, or anyone pushing them. Some of the children last year have never been to Carmel or Terre Haute... and they live in Indianapolis. We are opening up opportunities to which they would not have the chance to take part.