As we reflect on the strides made in 2023, TrackGirlz stands proud, continuing our mission to empower girls through the world of track and field. This year has been nothing short of a testament to the incredible dedication of our founder, Mechelle Lewis Freeman, along with the rest of our TrackGirlz team and the unwavering support of our community.
Join us as we take a moment to look back at a year filled with pivotal moments, impactful initiatives and community driven ventures.
Everyday Hero Award
Mechelle Freeman, our founder, was honoured with the Everyday Hero Award during the espnW: Women + Sports Summit, sponsored by Toyota. This award acknowledges women who positively impact their local communities through sports. Freeman received a $15,000 grant and recognition onstage from Paralympic medalist Danelle Umstead and ESPN’s Elle Duncan. Through TrackGirlz, Mechelle actively seeks grants and donations to support her mission, always striving to innovate and grow TrackGirlz.
NYC Marathon Success
Team TrackGirlz, composed of six remarkable women, participated in the NYC Marathon, a milestone marked with over $20,000 raised. Not to mention it was the first NYC marathon for all members of the team! Every dollar will be going directly to supporting girls in need. We are so grateful to have so much support within our athletics community.
World Championships Glory
Freeman’s involvement as the USATF Women’s Relay coach was significant at this year’s World Track and Field Championships in Budapest. Under her guidance, Team USA, composed of Tamari Davis, Twanisha Terry, Gabby Thomas and Sha’Carri Richardson clinched the gold medal in the 4x100m relay, setting a new championship record with a time of 41.03 seconds. The team was close to beating the world record time of 40.82 seconds, set at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Our commitment to our community manifested in various initiatives this year. We worked with our community partner, Three Sisters Ministries Inc, for a food drive, doing our part as we strive to help end hunger. Additionally we partnered with Bras4Girls and Youth Action YouthBuild to support the NYC community by setting up a coat drive.
Donations and Foundation Grants
TrackGirlz received donations and foundation grants, including from the Women’s Sports Foundation, Finish Line – Louder than Words, Gatorade, and Dicks Sporting Goods Foundation totaling over $70,000. Towards the end of this year we were also named a 2023 Sports 4 Life grant recipient! Co-founded by the Women’s Sports Foundation and espn and supported by Gatorade, we’re incredibly thankful and eager to further empower our girls programs. Speaking to the foundation, Kevin Martinez, ESPN Vice President of Corporate Citizenship said, “over the past decade, ESPN has proudly worked with the Women’s Sports Foundation to move the needle for girls of colour, including those with disabilities, to have access to sports and foster their physical and emotional health through play.”
Sports Performance Workshop
This year, TrackGirlz successfully organized and hosted two engaging Sports Performance Workshops, held in both the Spring and Fall seasons. The workshops saw an impressive turnout, with over 65 talented girls in attendance. It is worth mentioning that more than half of these participants were recipients of TrackGirlz grants. In addition, we were delighted to welcome two track teams, further enhancing the collaborative and competitive atmosphere of the workshops.
As we run, jump and throw our way into the new year, TrackGirlz remains purposeful in our dedication to provide girls access to health, academic, and social development resources through track and field programs. We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, knowing that with continued support, we can make an even greater impact.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey in 2023. Stay tuned for more updates and join us as we continue this incredible journey in 2024, empowering girls through the sport we all love so much.