BENEFITING: Asphalt Green, Inc.
EVENT DATE: Oct 06, 2013
Everyone talks about budget cuts in the arts, music and theater. But many schools in NYC don't have the money to provide sports teams or physical education for their students. Asphalt Green, a nonprofit in New York, provides instruction, coaching, and scholarships for more than 26,000 kids for free, who would otherwise never have access to a sports field, a swimming pool or a team experience.
The results are astounding. Since 1993, More than 30,000 public school children learned to swim for free. Recess is now an active part of the day for 22,500 kids annually in 50 schools from Chinatown to the Bronx. Middle school students from eight Harlem schools learn teamwork through sports leagues. Scholarships help children compete at a high level and achieve their dreams. One scholarship recipient, Lia Neal won the Bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics (see the news article: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/natalie-coughlin-lia-neal-swimming-london-2012-olympics-164150656.html).
Asphalt Green doesn't just help kids. It helped me. Fifteen years ago I raced in the US National Track Championships. Since then I dabbled in sports, but my only real milestone was gaining 30 pounds. Then I joined the Asphalt Green cycling team, and was greeted by the same inclusive, warm community that helps all those kids. I got on a training program, dropped the weight, and now I'm going to compete in the World Masters Track Championships, October 6-12th, in Manchester England.
I'm fundraising to help Asphalt Green support all those who don't have access to sports. My return to racing has reminded me how much sports shaped my life, my value system and my sense of self-worth. Don't worry - this isn't a scheme to get you to pay for my training. I am funding everything that has to do with my competition, from inner tubes to plane tickets. All of your donations will go to Asphalt Green's programs. Maybe you will help Asphalt Green train their next young Olympic medalist. Or maybe just make sure a deserving kid learns the same life lessons from sports that we did, when we were young.