Letter: Let's help build BBA a home track

To the Editor:

Remember the Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary? Yes, a country from the tropics competing in a winter sport. They were the epitome of being an underdog.

It reminds me of the Burr and Burton Academy track team: A group of kids competing heart and soul with no track and no field to practice on.

No track to practice their starts, their splits, their relay hand-offs, their finish line. No jumping pits to long jump, triple jump, pole vault, or high jump into. No place to throw a shot put, a discus or javelin. This team doesn't even have enough uniforms for all of the kids!

They run the streets of Manchester. They practice their running, throwing and jumping in the grass.

The only time they are on a track is in competition.

Yet, they succeed!

I've watched these kids meet-after-meet give it their all. They run until there is not an ounce left in them. They throw as if they could reach the stars. They barrel down the path and jump with everything they've got.

I've watched them this year become strategic in their races and crush personal records.

What they do have is excellent coaching.

Like the Jamaican bobsled team, the Burr and Burton Academy track team is the epitome of an underdog. They are, however, amazing competitors and this year they sent more kids to the Vermont state meet than any year prior.

Track and field is a sport that sets kids up with an activity that can provide lifelong physical and emotional health benefits that can be taken anywhere with just a pair of sneakers.

These kids deserve a track and a field. We as a community will also benefit from having access to a track and field that we can all utilize to become healthier.

Please support the effort to build a track and field. If you are interested in being part of please email me at chris@chrisvanderzyden.com

Chris Vanderzyden



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