HISTORY OF FLORIDA EXPRESS TRACK, Inc.
In 1987, a group of concerned parents, teachers, and coaches saw a need to help develop, promote and support youth in athletics. Because of this need, Florida Express Track, Inc., a registered 501(c)3 non-profit charity with a volunteer Board of Directors was formed. As a member of USA Track and Field, Florida Express Track was awarded the President’s Award in 1989 for our dedication and service with area youth. Board members continue to serve on USA Track and Field committees. Florida Express Track, Inc. has identified a rapidly increasing need to offer an on-going program that would effectively offer the children of Manatee and Sarasota Counties a positive means of escaping the negative influences that are dominate in our society. It is the goal of Florida Express Track, Inc. to embrace a program that will offer the youth a long term alternative that can possibly lead to lasting benefits and opportunities, such as self-esteem, college scholarships, athletic exposure, etc. It is with these goals in mind that the Florida Express Track Program was conceived. The objectives of Florida Express Track Program are as follows:
To encourage, improve, promote, develop and provide education in physical fitness, good community relations, high moral standards, and to combat the rising epidemics of juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, and many other social issues that contribute to some recognized anti-social behaviors.
It is the belief of the Florida Express Track, Inc. that participation in the Florida Express Track Program will positively foster an increase in self-esteem, increase civic and community pride, increase academic achievement, and reduce anti-social behavioral patterns in the approximately 200 to 400 children that are involved in the overall program. Many of the participants in the Florida Express Track Program have been afforded many educational and professional opportunities as a result of their involvement in the total program. We are proud to be able to positively identify these once called “at risk” children who have gone on to become role models and community leaders.
Florida Express Track, Inc. has identified a need for functional and realistic intervention programs. The need to address these concerns is necessary if our goal is to prepare and support a child who will hopefully choose to develop sensitivity to the “social tools” required to exist in society as a productive entity. Florida Express Track, Inc. has received accolades from the U.S.A. Track & Field Association (the governing body for the sport of track and field in the United States), the Florida Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and Sunshine States Games Foundation, for our grass roots development programs, as well as the successful handling of the following events:
- 1989 – 1997 Sunshine States Games/USA Track & Field Junior Olympic Qualifier Track & Field Championships
- 1990 – 1993 Inter-City Track & Field Meet,
- 1991 Meet Director for Sunshine State Games/USA Track & Field Regional Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, which was attended by over 900 athletes from throughout Florida.
- 1991 – 2013 Middle School Track & Field Championships, Florida Express Track has hosted this event annually which allows local middle school students the only opportunity to represent their school in competition against other middle schools
- 1993 Alma Torch Run, which gave the opportunity for our local athletes to run the Sunshine State Games torch with Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter.
- 2000 Meet Director for USA Track & Field Regional Jr. Olympic T & F Qualifier
- 2004 – 2013 Elementary School Track Meet. Florida Express Track has hosted this event annually which allows local elementary school students the only opportunity to represent their school in competition against other elementary schools.
***All donations to Florida Express Track, Inc. are tax deductible. You may mail any donations to: 6619 Georgia Ave; Bradenton, FL 34207