Maurelhena Walles, a Brooks I.D. Member and world-class masters sprinter, helps to coach a number of running camps for girls in NYC. She uses track as a platform for inspiring the girls to bigger and better life goals. The picture above shows Maurelhena with some of the athletes in an afterschool program in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for girls ages 7-12.
Maurelhena also works with the high school girls in the Armory College Prep Program. Recently 130 of these girls wrote essays about how running inspires them. The winning writers received Brooks gear.
“The girls were really happy and excited – not only about winning, but about participating in the contest” said Maurelhena. “They said it gave them an opportunity to reflect on why they really love running.”
The top six essays were written by:
1. Tinesha Rodrigues, Campus Magnet High School, Queens, NY
2. Titilope Bamgbala, Campus Magnet High School, Queens, NY
3. Ebony Richardson, Christopher Columbus High School, Bronx, NY
4. Tshal Smith, Campus Magnet High School, Queens, NY
5. Aiesha Dinnall, Transit Tech High School, Brooklyn, NY
6. Kaydee-Ann White, Christopher Columbus High School, Bronx, NY
The essays were great – it must have been tough to pick the top six – so I wanted to share some of my favorite quotations.
“Track and field teaches you discipline, builds your self esteem and keeps you healthy and in good shape not forgetting because I knew I was fast and could do anything if I put my mind to it’s also because my mom is always by my side pushing me to reach the zenith.” – Tinesha Rodrigues
“My teammates and my coach inspire me. They inspire me because they always have a positive and loving attitude towards one another. Though some days might be harder than others, at the end of the day we are still a team.” – Titilope Bamgbala, “What Inspires Me to Run”
“Each time I run on the track, I feel free; as if no one is holding me back. All my troubles disappear and my mind is cleared.” Ebony Richardson, “It’s Not Just a Sport”
“Track and field helps to build my self-esteem. It makes me feel that anything is possible as long as I put my mind to it.” – Tshal Smith, “What Inspires Me to Run Track”
“Every time I think about him when I lose a race I push harder because I know he is saying just push harder the next time and you will win.” Aiesha Dinnall, “My Grandfather Inspired Me to Run”
“The competition helps build my self-esteem. Practicing is very hard and time-consuming, but I know in the end it will pay off and make me a winner.” Kaydee-Ann White, “What Inspired Me to Do Track & Field”