Back on Track

From our early days as the American Community School (ACS), the ACS/ICS track has been a large part of our community. From a dirt and red clay surface to the track of today, students, families and community members have always had a place to walk, run, jump and sprint!
In 2002, ICS built a state-of-the-art rubberized, cushioned track, the only one in Addis Ababa. The track was dedicated to Haile Gebrselassie in a special ceremony before we broke ground. A handful of you might have been there to celebrate the dedication -- or to be some of the first users of the new facility. If so, we’d love to hear your first-hand stories and to see any photos you might have tucked away!

The new track was built to last in its original location, and it proudly bears Gebrselassie’s name today. Really, the dedication to him couldn’t have been more fitting. As you know, Gebrselassie is a beloved Ethiopian long-distance runner, celebrated Olympic gold medalist and world-record breaker, many times over. But also, as a boy, he first tested his endurance by running to, from and at school on ordinary days and in ordinary races that revealed his exceptional gifts. Like so many of our ICS alums, he is loyal to Ethiopia, still chasing the trails through the eucalyptus forests of Entoto on the heights of Addis Ababa while also pursuing philanthropic causes and business interests. He remains a leading inspiration to Ethiopian athletes, young and old, and to ICS.

● The original track venue remains and was rubberized 15 years ago in 2002. That surface is only viable today because of 15 years of tender loving care by ICS maintenance crews who have patched, sealed, swept, resealed, squeegeed, worried over it and repaired it. The diligence of our athletic and P.E. department, teachers, coaches and athletic directors have given it a long, good life.
● Right now, we’re faced with 1) a deteriorating, discolored, faded and uneven running surface that gathers standing water, 2) a permanent Lane One closure due to excessive wear, and 3) potential safety issues.
●Decreasing green space in Addis Ababa has heightened community interest in and use of the ICS track, adding to its wear-and-tear. 
●ICS has increased enrollment by 185% since the track was built in 2002, placing a greater student and community strain on the facility.
● Based on its failing condition and other pressures, we’re also faced with a decision. We can become more and more exclusive and protective of the facility to preserve the existing track surface and extend its lifespan --or we can upgrade it to top condition.

To get ‘Back on Track’ and to serve our community for decades to come, ICS will resurface its existing track.

Timeline: Resurfacing is scheduled for April 2018. This timeframe will beat the rainy season .

Outcome: This project will support excellence in student athletics and physical education as well as wellness and community-building opportunities for teachers, ICS parents and the broader community. Unwaveringly, the first-priority of the facility will always be student development and student access to curricular and co-curricular programs at ICS.

Funds raised: All funds will go toward supporting the resurfacing and more specifically for the beautification of the surrounding field and updates to spectator seating and shade.


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  • ACS/ICS Addis 
    • $100 
    • 38 mos
  • Jessica Fortin 
    • $100 
    • 38 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 38 mos
  • Mark Bowditch 
    • $250 
    • 38 mos
  • Victoria Carmen Jones 
    • $25 
    • 38 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

ACS/ICS Addis 
Tim Stuart 
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