Brooks Running Company has announced the 25 schools that it will give Booster Club grants to this year, helping to buoy high school cross country and track teams and ensure young runners can have an impactful experience with the sport. The Brooks Booster Club, a needs-based grant program, provides performance running footwear and apparel as well as funding to under resourced high school cross country and track teams across the country.
“At Brooks, we know that running is the most inclusive sport in the world,” said Brooks Sports Marketing Specialist Julie Wachter. “Our hope for the Brooks Booster Club is to clear the path for participation in running and ensure its accessibility so that young runners can have a lasting and impactful experience with our sport.”
Schools receiving grants this year demonstrated a compelling need for assistance. Team circumstances included being part of a district in which the entire student population receives free and reduced lunch, a coach being asked to pay out of pocket for all meet entry and athlete “pay to play” fees as well as one school in which the nearest sports store to buy running shoes was more than 50 miles away. Brooks accepted applications for grants throughout the year from schools in the U.S. and also asked its roster of professional athletes including those on the Brooks Beats and Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project teams to recommend teams in need of a Booster Club grant.
The grant each school will receive includes training and racing shoes, racing uniforms and warm-ups for a 30-person team and $2,000 to help with expenses including pay-to-play fees, meet entries, transportation costs, etc. Through its Booster Club, Brooks will have invested more than $1.2 million in cash and product by the end of the year, providing for upwards of 3,500 young runners since the program’s 2015 inception.
The 25 schools receiving Brooks Booster Club grants this year are:
- Belleview High School- Belleview, Fla.
- Brookings High School- Brookings S.D.
- Central High School- St. Paul, Minn.
- Chesaning Union High School- Chesaning, Mich.
- Cordova High School- Rancho Cordova, Calif.
- East Jordan High School- East Jordan, Mich.
- Easton Area High School- Easton, Pa.
- Enterprise High School- Enterprise, Ore.
- Jemez Valley High School- Jemez pueblo, N.M.
- Johnson Senior High School- St. Paul, Minn.
- Lake Wales High School- Lake Wales, Fla.
- Lancaster High School- Lancaster, Ohio
- Lincoln High School- Lincoln, Neb.
- Naugatuck High School- Naugatuck, Conn.
- Ottawa Hills High School- Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Plainfield Central High School- Plainfield, Ill.
- Poudre High School- Fort Collins, Colo.
- Rogers High School- Spokane, Wash.
- Roosevelt High School- Des Moines, Iowa
- Roosevelt High School- Portland, Ore.
- Shawnee High School- Shawnee, Okla.
- Shelbyville High School- Shelbyville, Ind.
- Waverly Central High School- Waverly, Tenn.
- Winona Senior High School- Winona, Minn.
- Woodland High School- Woodland, Calif.
Staying true to its purpose of inspiring everyone to run and be active and to spread cheer during the holiday season, Brooks will call on the running community to expand the Booster Club in 2019 to benefit even more runners and schools. Through a partnership with Charity Miles beginning Nov. 16, Brooks will encourage runners to use the app and run 10,000 miles to unlock a donation that would provide for Booster Club grants to two more schools next year beyond the 25 it will already donate to.
The Brooks Booster Club is one of several programs Brooks designed to support runners from the ground up. Others include its Inspiring Coaches program which recognizes and honors those who dedicate remarkable time, energy and resources to keeping their running teams strong, the Run B’Cause give-back program, which empowers Brooks employees to donate product and their own time to causes across the country, and numerous cash and in-kind donations.