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LCRD summer track building athletes

POSTED: July 10, 2007 5:02 a.m.
By Jimmy Currier
Coastal Courier (Hinesville, GA) Sports Editor

With a growing population, the Liberty County Recreation Department likes to keep up with the increase by offering new programs. This summer, one of the new programs is summer track. With track being one of the most popular and successful sports in the county, LCRD Director Jimmy Martin wanted to offer the sport in the summer.
Youth from ages 7-18 practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7:30 at Long Bell Stadium and have an opportunity to compete in meets, including the Georgia Games in July.
Tred Harris, who has coached the spring track team for the past five years, jumped at the opportunity to coach the summer program. He is a former track star himself at Harris County High School.
Harris said there’s several reasons he volunteers to coach, including spending quality time with his 12-year-old son, Rashawn. He also likes to mentor children and show them what they can accomplish.
“The primary benefit out here is exercise,” he said. “And we teach them to be productive citizens. Some say they can’t do it, but we get them to do it and put into their minds that they can win a meet.”
Events include the 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600-meter races, along as the standard field events of the running long jump, high jump, standing long jump and softball throw.
Martin estimated more than 40 children participate in the program and Harris said after the sixth practice that more than 90 percent of them have improved from the first practice.
“More than half of them are ready to seriously compete,” Harris said. “If we ran against the Savannah Rec Department, we’d do all right.”
Despite the LCRD having a successful spring season, Harris said that 80 percent of the summer kids are new faces, with several coming from Fort Stewart.
It is not too late to join the fun. For more information, call the LCRD at 876-5359 or visit them at the Shuman Center.
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