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January 22, 2013 > Track and field clinic educates and empowers

Track and field clinic educates and empowers

By Gustavo Lomas

What would it be like to throw a javelin? What does it feel like to pole vault? How would one go about running a race that involved hurdles, and better yet, which is more challenging - the long jump or the triple jump? Questions like these can be answered one of two ways. Either a person can look up preferences and statistics on the Internet or the more interesting option would be to talk to an athlete who has competed or still competes in one of the events. This year at James Logan High School's annual Willie Davenport Olympian Track and Field Clinic, questions like these and many more can be answered.

The clinic began twenty-seven years ago, initiated by James Logan High School's very own track and field and cross-country coach Lee Webb, and at his side, Willie Davenport. Willie Davenport was an athlete unlike any other of his time, competing four times at the Summer Olympics as a hurdler and participating in both the Summer and Winter Olympics in 1980, crossing over to be part of the American bobsled team, only the fourth American to compete in both games.

"It wasn't always named after Willie Davenport, we changed the name in his honor after he passed away," stated Webb. "The purpose of the clinic is to show those who attend the power of motivation as well as learn of the history behind track and field." Webb has been involved in the clinic as much as possible and uses this inspirational annual event to help recognize anyone interested in sporting events, no matter what their athletic ability. He also coordinates the World Youth Team, a seventeen and under Olympic event.

"The first time we held the event there were only forty people that showed up, but thankfully throughout the years and with help from sponsors, more and more have come to know about what we do here as they give us any support possible," Webb said. "It has now grown to be considered the largest track and field clinic in the world. We honor everyone for their efforts and support, but my favorite athletes are those who compete in the Special Olympics; they are a great group of people."

The Willie Davenport Olympian Track and Field Clinic creates a 'learn by doing experience.' No matter the participants' age or whether it is one person or a group, the events and information are gathered for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Along with the opportunity to learn of track and field history there will be club sign ups, and some Olympian special guests including, but not limited to: Rink Babka, Olympian Discus; Reynaldo Brown, Olympian High Jump; Mike Powell, World Record Holder Long Jump; Eddie Hart, World's Fastest Human 1972; and Karin Smith, 5-Time Olympian in the Javelin.

Trained clinicians will be available to answer questions and help participants learn at all stations: Distance, Triple Jump/Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put and Discus plus a few more. "Not only is there emphasis to educate and inform those who attend but most importantly this is a positive environment designed to help all who attend numerous ways to help improve themselves. You have to believe if you want to achieve," said Webb.

Registration for the clinic will be from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. with the scheduled events of the day starting at 9 a.m. in the James Logan High School Pavilion. Fees for participants are $20 for individuals, $10 for youths (10 and under), $350 for a team registration (up to 30 athletes), and $500 for teams of 50 plus. Registration forms can be found at www.logantrackandfield.com. All ages are welcome and lunch will be available on campus for $5. Parking is free.

For more information, contact Lee Webb at (510) 304-7172, lee_webb@nhusd.k12.ca.us or visit www.logantrackandfield.com.

Willie Davenport Olympian Track and Field Clinic
Saturday, Feb 2
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
James Logan High School Pavilion
1800 H St., Union City
(510) 304-7172
www.logantrackandfield.com
Registration Fee: $10 - $500

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