Throughout 2021, we’ll be highlighting high school running teams from around the U.S that receive gear and funding through our needs-based program.
A leg up for young runners
The Brooks Booster Club provides performance running footwear, apparel, and funding to under-resourced cross country and track teams. It targets high school teams specifically to help close the gap created by drastic cuts in to running programs at that level.
Since 2015, the program has helped 129 schools and 5,500 young runners across the U.S. with more than $1.8 million in cash and gear donations. Each school recipient gets enough training shoes, racing shoes, uniforms, and warm-up apparel for a 30-person team, plus $2,000 to help with expenses.
Congratulations to Cross Key High School in Atlanta, GA
Coach Aulelia Morris treats her track team like family and wants every athlete to be able to train and compete to the best of their ability. But members of her team faced tough obstacles — the majority of her athletes have had to borrow competition shoes or train in non-athletic shoes. Morale was low and injuries high.
Morris sees lots of hopeful faces looking up to her and she wants to deliver on her promise to be the best coach for them she can be.
“When I was their age, I never had to worry about the cost of things. Watching athletes choose whether to go to work or practice because of their home situation is heartbreaking. Being able to provide these materials means they do not have to make that choice. They can be carefree for just a little while at practice. It would provide opportunities for some to leave a poverty behind and change their future,” she said.
Morris is excited for the grant to provide young people an experience that could help forge strong relationships and team building skills as she works to expand and create a more dynamic team.
In addition to the Brooks footwear and apparel they received, the team plans to use the $2000 to purchase training equipment like cones, starting blocks, and stop watches.
We’ll continue to use Brooks Booster Club to help young runners who otherwise might not be able to participate in the sport we love so much. It’s the right thing to do, and let’s be honest, it feels great. If you need convincing, check out this amazing video of 2018 Boston champ and Brooks pro runner Des Linden delivering gear to the BPS Citywide cross country team.
We have more smile-worthy stories to share about our 2020 Brooks Booster Club recipients in the coming months.
In the meantime, nominations are now open for 2021. If you’re a coach or athletic director, tell us about how we can help your team, and maybe we can give your athletes a boost.