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USATF Future Stars Meets to support community track programs

2/2/2015
 
INDIANAPOLIS – USA Track & Field on Monday announced a new community-based track program designed to provide significant support to mid-level, competitive track meets around the country and to foster participation by children nationwide.

Launched as USATF Future Stars Meets, the program will support hundreds of community-based meets around the country, providing insurance, sanctioning, equipment, branding, meet manual and assistance with local sponsorships. Thirty meets nationwide will be selected as Future Stars Elite Meets and will receive funding assistance as well, while four athletes who win their events at the Elite Meets will be randomly selected to receive a free trip to compete in the USATF Hershey Youth Outdoor Championships.

USATF Future Stars Meets are open to boys and girls ages 7-14, competing in two-year age groups. Contested events are the standing broad jump, TurboJav and 100, 200, 400 and 800 meters for ages 7-8. Participants ages 9-14 also will compete in the 1,500m run and 1,500m race walk. The meets will not require USATF membership to participate and are free and open to the public.

“USATF’s Youth programs have earned a strong reputation as very high-level, competitive track meets,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “Through USATF Future Stars Meets, we are establishing a system of developmental meets, run by parks and recreation departments and local community organizations, that provide a point of entry for tens of thousands of children across the country. We want to ensure these meets can flourish in their communities and continue to introduce children to competitive track and field and to USATF.”

Meet benefits

Beginning today through March 1, 2015, meet organizers from around the country seeking to receive funding as Future Stars Elite Meets can visit the USATF website at http://www.usatf.org/About/Community/Future-Stars-Meets.aspx to apply for funding and support. Meets from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are eligible. Criteria for funding include a history of meets held or previously operated by event organizers, the number of projected participants, cost of hosting the meets, and financial need of the area.

Benefits for Future Stars Elite Meets include:
 Funding assistance from $1,000 to $3,500 per meet
 USATF sanctioning and event-liability insurance
 Future Stars Meet handbook
 Two (2) Future Stars TurboJavs
 Branding templates for awards, signage, and similar collateral
 Direct contact with USATF Associations and Youth Programs for assistance with the meets

National network

Organizers of each of the 30 Future Stars Elite Meets will be authorized to designate 10 meets in their area as Future Stars Grass Roots Meets, creating a network of at least 300 local meets. Each Future Stars Grass Roots Meet will receive the same benefits as Elite Meets, other than funding. Local meets who do not receive Grass Roots designation from an Elite Meet may apply for the designation directly on the USATF web site after April 16.

In addition, two boys and two girls from around the country who win their events at a Future Stars Elite Meet, will be randomly selected to receive a free trip to compete at the USATF Hershey Youth Outdoor Championships, which in 2015 will be contested June 30-July 5 in Lisle, Ill.

USATF staff, Associations and Youth Division leaders developed the Future Stars Meets program to continue the robust participation of community organizations in the sport that had been fostered previously by Hershey’s Track & Field Games, which concluded its final year in 2014.

“Our clear inspiration for the program is the nearly four decades of grass roots meet support through the Hershey Games,” Siegel said. “It was important to all of us to establish a true network of meets and to provide a free trip to our national youth championships, to get kids excited about taking that next step in competitive track and field.”

Funding applications for Future Stars Meets are open beginning today. Other key dates include:
March 1 – Funding application deadline – applications close
March 16 – Future Stars Elite Meet funding recipients notified
April 15 – Deadline for Future Stars Elite Meets to each designate 10 Future Stars Grass Roots Meets in their areas
April-Sept. – Future Stars Meets held throughout the country
June 10 – Winners of 2015 Future Stars Youth Travel Award announced (children participating in meets after June will be eligible for the 2016 Travel Award)
June 30-July 5 - USATF Hershey Youth Outdoor Championships, Lisle, Ill.

For more information and to apply for funding, visit website http://www.usatf.org/About/Community/Future-Stars-Meets.aspx


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