The Foundation favors the use of grant money to expand existing youth programs/clubs, to provide additional competitive opportunities for children and to enhance the experience for all participants. Preference is given to clubs that are based in low-income areas. It also favors programs that have a history of solid financial management, multiple funding sources and community support. Allowable expenses include equipment, uniforms, meet fees, travel, facility rental, staff and volunteer training, and outreach. Requests for funding for coaching and/or administrative salaries are not allowed.
The USA Track & Field Foundation does not discriminate, in its youth club grant selection process, on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, marital status, sex, disability, age, gender identity or sexual orientation of any club member or staff.
TOTAL AWARDED SINCE 2006
GRANTS AWARDED TO YOUTH CLUBS
PARTICIPATING YOUTH RUNNERS
First and foremost, running should be fun. Do not use running as a punishment. Encourage children to participate and try their best. Emphasize good technique. Teach youth good form early and help eliminate bad habits such as excessive arm movement, twisting of the upper body, or over striding.
In elementary school, running should be about participation and developing a healthy lifestyle, not about being the fastest kid in the school or program. Save competition for middle and high school aged students.
Avoid a one-size-fits-all running program. Accommodate for differences in abilities within the group. Children mature both physically and emotionally at different rates, and this will factor into their ability to participate in running.
Before puberty children are rapidly growing and changing. Excessive, systematic training may interfere with normal growth and cause injury in a child. Between the ages of 3 and 9, encourage regular exercise, which can include organized running for fun as outlined in the Kids Run the Nation Program Guide for Teachers, Coaches, and Program Directors. Around the age of 8 to 12, children may enjoy participation in a more organized running program that has a more systematic training environment that lasts two to three months. Around the age of 12 for girls and 14 for boys, key developmental changes will enable students to slowly increase training distance and duration leading to participation in a systematic and competitive training environment.
Running workload includes volume (distance), intensity (speed or effort), and frequency (number of days a week). Just like with adults’ running training, children should start a running program with a low-volume, low-intensity plan and limit frequency to a couple of days per week. Workload should increase over the duration of the program, but should remain appropriate for the individual runner.
Running in a kid’s fun run or youth track event can be a great experience for kids. For children 5 and under focus on “dash” events that range from a few yards to 400 meters. For children 5 and over, kids fun runs that are a ½ to 1 mile long may be considered, but allow for a combination of running and walking. Children ages 12 and over may want to participate in a 5K run. Children ages 15 and older may want to participate in a 10K to half marathon event. Children 18 and older may want to participate in a marathon or further distance. These are general guidelines and the distance a child can physically and emotionally tolerate will depend on the individual, however longer distances (10K and over) should wait until after puberty.
SOURCE: Training for Young Distance Runners written by Larry Greene, PhD and Russ Pate, PhD
The grant will allow Speed Unlimited to provide additional competitive opportunities for youth athletes and to enhance the experience for all participants. This recognition, endorsement and assistance from the USATF Foundation is a tremendous, pleasant surprise and extremely encouraging for the continued development of our athletes.
Thank you so very much! This is incredible! We are so thrilled and excited! I’m so grateful for the USATF Foundation grant. It will make a huge difference in providing the opportunity to our young runners that would otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in track and field! Thank you so much!
On behalf of the Lightning Spikes Track Club, we thank you for your generous contribution to our track club!! It is much needed and much appreciated!!
Please accept my sincerest thanks for your continued support of Superior Track & Field. Our program has been a huge asset to our community and it would not have been possible over the years if it were not for the Foundation’s support.
On behalf of DC Select Track and Field Club, we would like to express our sincerest thanks for awarding the team the USATF Foundation Youth Club grant. We are very excited and appreciative of this opportunity to take the team and athletes to the next level.
Park Flyers Track and Field is so very pleased to be awarded the USATF Foundation Youth Club Grant! This award will ensure we can continue our club's mission to provide greater opportunities for athletes who otherwise would not have the means. Thank you very much for helping us offer a platform to improve the lives of our youth and athletes!