Young Athletes Compete in Local Track Meet
Dozens of young athletes competed at the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation (TAAF) Youth Circuit Track Meet at San Angelo Stadium on Saturday. Fourteen running and 11 field events were open to ages 4-18.
TAAF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing young athletes, developing their athletic skills and sportsmanship. John Henry Perez, recreation supervisor for the city of San Angelo and regional director for TAAF, was present to make sure each event went smoothly.
“If you mention track to somebody, they might say ‘I don’t want to run. I don’t like running,’” Perez said. “Yes, track does consist of running, but we try to teach [the kids] the mechanics of how to run and make it fun for them. And, at the same time, we do the field events also.”
San Angelo’s Recreation Department offers a track and field program to 6-17 year olds during the summer. These athletes participate in organized practices and even have a chance of competing in the TAAF Summer Games of Texas regional or state meets. According to Perez, TAAF encourages ambition in young athletes as well as providing an outlet for those who are new to the sport.
“The kids that are doing track in middle school or high school, they enjoy it to where it could be a sport they might try to consider doing in college,” Perez said. “At the same time, too, for the younger ages, introduce them to track.”
According to Perez, athletes from Big Spring and Abilene also competed in the meet Saturday. Perez encouraged kids to get out of the house and be active during the summer.
“First and foremost, [track] is a fun sport to do,” Perez said. “It is a competitive sport for an individual. Some kids, you never know. You might have a gift in running that you might not know until you try it and see.”