Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My thoughts of the day

Track and Field seems to only come around once every 4 years. I wonder where it goes the rest of the time... Not being as glamorous as football or basketball, Track and Field tends to get lost in the world of sports. You would think a sport that helps transform you into a football or baseball player may get some recognition. I guess the only time you ever hear about our sport is when it when you hear about the infamous Bruce Jenner. If it weren't for Track and Field would other sports even exist???? So many famous athletes started as Track athletes and found their way to the more rewarding sports, you know like the ones they actually show on TV. So what happened to Track and Field, it used to be recognized as the worlds greatest? Personally I find it fascinating to hear what people think the javelin is. “Is it that pole thingy that you jump over?” Come on people!! As one of the oldest most world renown sports how do we not even know the events? So many Track stars have been trying to make light of our sport and some have made a presence. The top sprinters do get a lot of recognition but not nearly as much as they deserve. Us throwers are even less recognized even though our men's shot putter got gold at the World Championships along with many other impressive performances throughout the year. We are not even in the same “field” as sports like football. If only our sport could be marketed better or make more of an appearance on TV so the public can see we really do exist in the years leading up to the Olympics. If you talk to any Track athlete you will hear the same thing, its sad. Most if not all Track athletes have one or more other jobs just to help keep them on their feet. I wont get into the numbers but most of us make next to nothing; we train year round, full time and need jobs to make ends meet.

In an attempt to get kids interested in Track and Field Tom Petranoff has created the Turbojav, a safe plastic version of the real Javelin. Tom Petranoff is a former world record holder in the Javelin. He still has people to this day that are in awe of him. If you ask any thrower now or from back in the 80's they are very aware of who he is. He was throwing the javelin so far they had to change the rules of the sport to keep him from hitting the other side of the Track. Pretty damn impressive if you ask me.
He is now dedicating all of his time to help increase the attendance of athletes to Track and Field. “The basics” is his motto; teach the kids the fundamentals on how to run, jump, and throw but make it fun. He invented the Turbojav in South Africa in 1989 as a way for kids to get involved in a “dangerous” sport but also as a training tool for elite athletes. The Turbojav is durable and fun implement that can be thrown on any surface; indoors and outdoors. Most of us know too well how hard it is to be a javelin thrower in a state that is buried under snow during the winter months.

As a team Tom and I, along with the help of USATF and others, we are trying to introduce the sport to the youth through camps and school gym classes. The Olympics is next year and this is the time to really try to put our sport out there.. The only time when our sport actually exists!

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