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May 13, 2009 > Mission Valley Track and Field Club, more than a sports organization

Mission Valley Track and Field Club, more than a sports organization

By Simon Wong

On May 9, for the second year in a row, Union City's Mission Valley Track & Field Club (MVTFC) hosted the 2009 Bob Loggins and Sam Cavallaro Sectional, a Pacific Association/USA Track & Field sanctioned event.

More than 800 young athletes, aged 6-14, from 35 clubs, competed at James Logan High School's Oval. Though most of the Sub-Bantum, Bantum, Midget and Youth athletes were local, some travelled from Sacramento, Fresno, Stockton and Santa Rosa.

"High school athletes are not permitted to represent clubs until the high school season is over," explained Lee Webb, president of MVTFC and the meet's announcer.

Webb founded the nonprofit MVTFC in 1980 and has been president for 25 years. He is also the track & field head coach at James Logan High School.

MVTFC's goal is "to promote life skills, health and well-being through the sport of track and field."

All participants benefit greatly but the focus is on at-risk students in the local and surrounding communities. The organization provides help with studies and services specific to each student-athlete's needs.

Coaches and staff all volunteer and teach young people track and field basics, the importance of good health, sportsmanship, teamwork and personal self-esteem. What they learn will stand them in good stead for future endeavours.

MVTFC has won several local, state and national championships. This year, the club aims to compete nationally against the country's top athletes.

"My family belongs to Oakland PAL. So, my children and I joined about three years ago," said Pamela Temple, a proud parent. "We practise twice a week at Merritt College and compete at the weekends.

"My 8-year-old twin daughters and 11-year-old son run the 100M, 200M, 400M, 4x100M relay and compete in the mini-javelin ... they all do at least three events each," Temple continued. "Seeing them achieve gives me great joy. I also participate in the parents' relay; seeing me run motivates them which, in turn, motivates me.

"This is fun for the kids. They enjoy the competition and receiving a ribbon. It feeds their competitive spirit to be better and strive for excellence. They perform well academically for two reasons: their desire to learn comes from both school and their sports participation. But it's their sports activities that have taught them the importance of the pursuit of excellence," she concluded.

For more information, visit www.mvtfc.org (Mission Valley Track & Field Club), www.logantrackandfield.com (James Logan Track & Field) and www.pausatf.org (Pacific Association/USA Track & Field).

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