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Youth Track Club Teaches Kids to Be Their Best

NBC Universal, Inc.

As runners from around the world are coming together for the Olympics in Tokyo, in Connecticut there’s a youth track club hoping they’ll produce some starts for the games one day. They’re also getting these young people ready to take on the world in any space they choose.

Since 2008 kids in the Capital City Track Club have been running to win races on the track and in life.

The year-round, indoor/outdoor program founded by Lee Hunt gives young people in the Hartford area between the ages of 7 and 18 in-depth exposure to track and field and the benefits of an active lifestyle, while giving them skills to help earn scholarships for college.

Alessandra Salmon is the club’s head coach.

“We have an academic program that works with FAFSA, teaches parents what they need to do to get their kid scholarships and in school. So we stay on top of their education as well. So we do everything all around," she explained.

The kids are taught the sports different events along with critical life skills that also come from these games.

Devon Mendez joined the club when he didn’t make his middle school basketball team, but soon realized his true love is running track.

“At first I was like I don’t know if I’m going to like it or not. Then I ended up being fast. What keeps me going is my drive to try to be one of the best in the world," he said.

Jahniya Barclay says she’s learned a lot since starting the program. She’s training here to get better at her sport, and learning about life off the track too.

"I like making new friends, running. Doing my events. Doing relay...which requires teamwork," she said. “I like the overall competition. It's hard, but not too hard. It makes me want to improve."

Right now kids from the program are in Jacksonville, Florida competing in the USATF Junior Olympics and several runners have already placed in the competition.

To learn more about the Capital City Track Club, visit

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