Nike, St. John group help Kean runners
Published: October 8, 2012
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ST. THOMAS - Ivanna Eudora Kean High School cross-country runners will have some flashy new foot attire when the St. Thomas-St. John IAA cross-country season starts Tuesday.
Using Sport For Social Change, a St. John-based initiative, donated approximately 100 pairs of new Nike cross-country shoes to Kean High athletes on Thursday.
"I started my own initiative on St. John four years ago to help the community through sports and fitness," said group founder Dean Doeling, who is a senior production artist for Nike.
"It's been my hope to start small on St. John and move on to other islands. This is the first time we have been able to encompass St. Thomas and maybe in a few years, we will be able to reach out to St. Croix."
Dale Joseph coaches the Devil Rays cross-country program, which includes 20 athletes from St. Thomas and St. John. Each athlete will be given a new pair of shoes for the season, leaving shoes for future athletes in the program.
The St. Thomas-St. John IAA cross-country season will include elementary, junior-varsity and varsity divisions and starts Tuesday at the University of Virgin Islands at 4 p.m.
"We are so ecstatic to link up with Dean and USFSC," Kean High athletic director Peter Seipel said. "With cross-country, we are not practicing in a conducive environment so our athletes wear down their shoes fast. Now, thanks to this donation, we will have the proper equipment for our kids."
The organization's primary purpose is to support local sporting programs that are already in place, with fundraising, community education and sporting equipment donated through Nike.
Using Sport For Social Change is trying to resurrect some failed sporting programs and provide play days where kids from all classes and cultures can come together and participate in sports-based games and skill challenges.
The fourth annual "Just Play" event will be held today in Cruz Bay on St. John. The event is for youth athletes and pre-registration is required. For more information, go online to www.usingsportsforsocialchange.com.
- Contact sports writer Aaron Gray at 714-9102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.