Track Team Students Struggle For Shoes

Students At Fremont Elementary Running In House Slippers, Skate Shoes

Every year, Fremont Elementary in East Bakersfield struggles to find proper shoes for its track team.

This year, they've started fundraising in hopes of getting the kids going on the right foot.

Kids in Fremont Elementary's track team say all they want is to make it to the regional finals.

They have the drive and the uniforms, just not the shoes.

"A lot of times at our track meets, our students are running in house slippers, Converse, Vans, anything they have," said track team coach Marcel Guerra.

The kids come from one of Bakersfield's most underprivileged neighborhoods: the area of Union Avenue and Fourth Street.

"As far as a lot of our parents, they're working hard to put food on the table so some of that maybe can't come at this time," said Guerra.

There are 60 kids from grades 3 through 6 on the track team.

The kids compete in track meets every couple of weeks.

Not having the right shoes has become a real pain.

"I hear like 'Mr. G my knees are hurting, Mr. G my ankles hurt," said Guerra.

"It feels bad because (not having proper shoes) stops us and we don't run well and that's not good because we want to win the races," said track team member Martin Romero.

Guerra believes they'd be a "shoe-in" at competitions if they had the right shoes.

"I have students who win races with Converse shoes on so I can't imagine how good they'd do with actual running shoes," said Guerra.

The kids say they work just as hard as other students in the district, they may just not be as privileged to have the right shoes.

So they're asking for the community's help.

"They should donate shoes so we can run faster and represent," said Romero.

The track team is asking for socks, track or running shoes, and monetary donations.

Donations can be dropped off or mailed to: John C. Fremont Magnet School 607 Texas Street Bakersfield, CA 93307 ATTENTION: TRACK TEAM

ANY QUESTIONS, CALL: Office: 661-631-5280

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