Track athletes need equipment badly

I am Coach Jackson and I have been coaching Track at McPherson Middle School for 5 years now, and the last 2 as head coach. I grew up playing football, but track has become a sport I love to coach more than any other. Most kids by middle school are just starting to learn the basics of running, jumping, and throwing. I love being the first to be able to have an impact on their lifelong pursuit of being physically capable and fit. 

I am raising money for our track program as a whole. We aren't just trying to make athletes we are trying to make better people. We teach our student athletes a few key things: grades come first, effort matters more than your comparison to someone, and commitment is key to excellence which can be defined in more ways than medals and ribbons.

This money will be set out towards a few priorities, and then go from there. Immediately, as you can see from the picture, our jump pit needs updated drastically. We have had kids hurt using it, we find cat feces and broken glass, and it is a shame kids have to be forced to use something like this. After this we will see what else we can afford in the ways of making lanes to practice on since we literally have no track to practice on. We have four good hurdles, and in case you didn't know the shortest hurles race, in distance, takes 10 hurdles. After this I would love to purchase equipment like plyo boxes, running chutes, and other track workout equipment that I would love to share with our middle school training program that was all started from donated funds.

If I had the funds today we would start building these things as soon as board approved. I would love to see this current 8th grade class get to see some of the benefits of these improvements, but I can only make that happen with your help.

My goal as a professional who works with children in many capacities including Special Education, a mentoring program, coaching football as well as track, is to give student the best shot to succeed. With success comes a platform that our youth can use for the better. To be me the best part about being successful is you suddenly are put into a limelight and from there you can shine great things onto others. At this point we are building great young people, but giving them no chance to succeed through track with the facilities we have now. I have coaches who work tirelessly for these kids, yet we don't get support in order to give our kids more.

I hope my heart and passion show for this cause. These kids deserve more and I believe that with all my being. I want to give these kids more and the help that you could provide would be going towards a chance for kids to grow. Watching our youth be given a real chance to succeed is what I hope to deliver. Knowing the chance was given by people who maybe don't even know me or the students only make me and my staff that much more thankful. Every bit matters.
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Thomas Jackson 
McPherson, KS
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