Since our founding in 2008, Infinite Running has offered runners a chance to receive coaching from some of America’s best athletes. Our roster of elite athletes and coaches – including U.S. Olympic Trials qualifiers Peter Gilmore; Tara and Kara Storage; Caitlin Smith; Sarah Bashinski-Flament; Jacques Sallberg; and Mike Sayenko – has helped runners of all abilities set new personal bests and achieve their true potential, all while helping some of America’s best runners chase their Olympic dreams. Now, by supporting the new Infinite Running Foundation, the running community can come together to make sure young athletes of lesser means have a chance to realize their dreams.
Founded in 2010, the Infinite Running Foundation, a nonprofit 501c3, seeks partners in its mission to support the athletic dreams of junior high- and high school-age runners throughout the United States by providing grants for coaching, equipment and travel expenses that youth programs need to provide their members a total and authentic athletic experience. The foundation also provides support to youth running programs committed to fighting childhood obesity.
Incidents of childhood obesity have tripled since 1980. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 12 million American children ages 2 to 19 are now considered obese. Meanwhile, studies have shown that youth who participate in sports programs offered by public schools are generally healthier and better students than those who do not. Unfortunately, in recent years, public schools’ sports programs have lost billions of dollars in crucial funding.
In California alone, where instances of childhood obesity exceed the national average, the California Teachers Association reported last year that more than $17 billion had been cut from education in the two previous years. To save athletic programs, coaches, students and parents have turned to an array of fundraising efforts. In many cases, schools have banded together to create foundations committed to raising money needed for coaching stipends and traveling costs. This new dynamic, according to a study conducted by UCLA, has had a disproportionate impact on low-income school districts. For every $1 in private donations that a high-poverty school raises, schools in wealthier areas raise $20, the study reported.