AAU Spotlight: Jeuness Track Club
The Jeuness Track Club Inc. is a grass roots community-based track club for girls that was founded in 1985 to provide its members with athletic and educational opportunities, through track and field competition. The program is based in the Bedford-Stuyvesant/Crown Heights areas of Brooklyn for training, but the girls compete throughout the city and nationally.
The objective of the team is to enable young girls to grow in the sport of track and field beginning at the grammar school level and continue through high school. Our goal is to assist girls in becoming accomplished athletes, and be able to move on to the college level with the aid of athletic scholarships. Hence, the program emphasizes a commitment to educational excellence as well as intense physical training.
The team exposes members to a wide variety of competitions, both locally and nationally. Many of the members become the focus of college coaches at these national meets, or through local press. As college coaches across the nation contact the coaches, interviews and site visits are arranged. At present, the club serves approximately thirty members that range in age from six to seventeen. All members train four days per week, for approximately two hours, and compete on weekends. Five female coaches with over thirty years of running and coaching experience volunteer to staff the team. Many of the coaches were former members of the team, who are eager to “give back” by volunteering their time to help present members.
In recent years, the team has been a prominent force in the track and field community. Every year several team members from Jeuness are finalists in the Colgate Women’s Games, a highly competitive series of indoor meets held annually in NYC. Each summer team members compete and place at the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Nationals. This summer, in Hampton Roads Virginia, one team member smashed the 9 year old national record in the 400 meters, also winning gold in the 200 meters and assisted in winning gold medals in the 9-10 year old 4 x 400 meter relay. Many members are ranked in the top 20 in the country under the “national elite youth ranking system”, and hold national records in individual and relay events. Others have achieved fame as members of the USA Junior national team, and traveled to compete in the World Junior Championships in Korea, and throughout Europe. One member competed in the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
Although our running accomplishments are many, we are most proud of those members who leave the team with a higher purpose. Alumni members of the team have gone on with the assistance of track scholarships, to attend, compete, and graduate from the University of Illinois, Howard University, The University of Maryland, Georgetown University, Delaware State, Coppin State, The University of Texas, Essex College of Maryland, Manhattan College, St. Johns University, St Francis College, Boston College, and C.W. Post University, just to name a few. Members have also continued their education at law schools, graduate schools and medical schools throughout the country. This is our goal for each member and these accomplishments are counted as our greatest victories.