The track & field program at Northwest Classen High School has given Deamonte Harper more than a race to run. It has given him a reason to care.
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Deamonte Harper is a track & field star at Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City. But every time he presses his feet against the starting blocks, he knows his goal isn’t to race across the finish line 100 meters down the track.
Deamonte’s goal is to walk across the stage at his college graduation several years down the road.
Running is a challenge to yourself. If you can’t beat your own time, what makes you think you can beat anybody else’s?
Regardless of where they grow up, kids are surrounded by negative influences. In the inner city, those influences are even more pervasive.
In many cases, the motivation to succeed is replaced by the motivation to simply survive.
While outside influences remain, sports have proved time and time again to have powers greater than any environmental factor.
Sports create accountability. They instill the desire to do the right thing and prove that success, not just survival, is attainable.
Sports give kids a reason to care.
Thanks to Fields & Futures, Jamie Hubbard, the track & field coach at Northwest Classen High School, has seen firsthand the impact that strong athletic programs and immaculate sports facilities have on students like Deamonte.
When we started racing, I just felt… life. I was just happy. It made me feel like I was free.
Being on the track team has pushed Deamonte to get his grades up and his act together. Just as importantly, it has shown him there’s less to run from when you find something to run toward.