Atlanta Youth Running Foundation empowers coaches to develop an inclusive youth running team by providing tangible assets (t-shirts, uniforms, running shoes, track equipment) directly used by young student-athletes.
Throughout its long history, the Foundation’s goal has been to promote track and field and distance youth running programs. In this way, the Foundation can help make a difference in the lives of the youth. These programs promote physical fitness while fostering discipline, teamwork, and perseverance. Students become student-athletes. Some student-athletes receive scholarships. Some scholarship athletes go on to coach and work with youth themselves. Every athlete develops skills and attitudes that serve them well in their lives.
Investing in youth running during pre-adolescence when students are most likely to learn perseverance and consistency.
Impacting youth to be a part of something special, to be a team of like-minded youth athletes.
Partnering with grass roots community based programs, middle and high school programs who have demonstrated success in the communities we serve.
Operating since 1988 and providing over $2M of funding, our organization maintains an invested fund to last into perpetuity.
Pursuing life goals is the common theme among youth runner athletes. It is common for program alumni to earn track or cross country college scholarships, then move on to graduate school, law or medical school.
Your donations support hundreds of programs across track clubs, cross-country, track & field and other organizations in Georgia. Atlanta Youth Running Foundation funds scholarships annually and grants twice a year. To date, Atlanta Youth Running Foundation has supported over 150 organizations and provided over $1 million dollars in grant funds. Established in 1988, Atlanta Youth Running Foundation (formerly The Atlanta Track Club Foundation) has been operating as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. As such, donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
SUCCESS STORY: BLUE LIGHTNING TRACK CLUB
SUCCESS STORY: LIGHTNING SPIKES TRACK CLUB
“The Atlanta Youth Running Foundation (AYRF) has been an integral part of our success over the years and we are very appreciative of the Foundation’s support. Without the financial support of the Atlanta Youth Running Foundation, Lightning Spikes Track Club (LSTC) would not have been able to overcome the barriers and challenges that have caused many youth athletic programs to shut down. Through AYRF’s support, Lightning Spikes Track Club has trained over 600 athletes, produced over 60 All-Americans, and assisted over 70 athletes in obtaining college scholarships. More importantly, over 95 percent of our high school seniors have elected to continue their education/career aspirations at 2-4 year colleges and universities, trade schools, apprenticeships, and the military. Below are a few success stories of current and former athletes in our program:“
Aiden joined Lightning Spikes Track Club at age 13 competing in events ranging from the 100m – 400m and the 100m hurdles – 400m hurdles at the Junior Olympics. She made tremendous progress over her time with Lightning Spikes Track Club which she topped off as a senior finishing 1st in the 300m hurdles and 3rd in the 400m at the 2021 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) 1A Private Track and Field Championship. Aiden is now a sophomore at Samford University and competes in hurdles and sprints. She achieved several personal and season bests during the 2021-22 season and is off to a great start for the 2022-23 season.
Aliyah joined Lightning Spikes Track Club at age 13 competing in events ranging from the 100m – 800m and the 100m hurdles – 400m hurdles. Aliyah competed in these events at the Junior Olympics. As a junior, Aliyah finished 1st in the 300m hurdles at the 2021 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) 7A Track and Field Championship.
She is now a Freshman at the Savannah College of Art & Design. She is not participating in college athletics at this time, but she is considering returning to competitive track in 2023.
Christian Joined Lightning Spikes Track Club at age 11 with cerebral palsy. Despite his physical challenges, Christian excelled in the 100m, 200m, and 400m. He went on to compete on his high school track and field team. Christian is now a sophomore at Georgia State University and is winning at life and doing well. He is not participating in college athletics but continues to run to stay in shape and maintain focus.
Dominic joined Lightning Spikes Track Club at age 7 and has excelled as both a track and field athlete. He competed in the Junior Olympics for 5 years in various events including 100m, 200m, 400m, and long jump and has attained All-American status twice. Dominic is now 13 and continues to excel in his track and field events. He resumed his trend by competing in the 2022 Junior Olympics and has now taken up swimming as an off-season activity. He is looking forward to the 2023 season and says he can’t wait to compete at the High School level.
Kameryn joined Lightning Spikes Track Club at age 7 and learned early on that there are many ways to be successful in track and field. Kameryn was identified as a discus and shot-put thrower, excelling at both. She has competed at the Junior Olympics and other national meets each year and she has attained All-American status for 5 consecutive years. As a sophomore in high school, Kameryn finished 2nd in the discus and 6th in the shot-put at the 2021 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) 7A Track and Field Championship.
Kameryn is now a senior and participating in her final year of High School Track and Field. She is the defending 2022 GHSA 7A Discus Champion and is looking forward to retaining her championship title in the discus as well as the shot put. She is actively involved in the recruiting process with offers from Kennesaw State, Arizona State, and LSU to mention a few.
Khalif joined Lightning Spikes Track Club at age 12 competing in events ranging from the 100m – 400m and the 110m hurdles – 400m hurdles. Khalif competed in these events at the Junior Olympics and finished as an All-American. In 2021, Khalif signed a scholarship and is now a student-athlete at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He is now a sophomore and competes in sprints and hurdles. He finished in the top 10 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference as a Freshman and is looking to achieve greater accomplishments in the 2022-23 season.
Madison joined Lightning Spikes Track Club at age 10 and competed in events ranging from the 100m – 800m at the Junior Olympics and other national meets. As a sophomore, Madison set a new school record in the 400m and finished 4th in 400m at the 2021 Georgia High School Association (GHSA) 7A Track and Field Championship. Madison is now a senior and participating in her final year of High School Track and Field. She is actively involved in the recruiting process with several colleges seeking to include her on their roster. She is excited about the opportunities ahead and will be narrowing her college selection soon.
Part 1 – These are photos of Lightning Spikes Track Club’s 13/14 year old relay team and the same members three years later. At 13/14, these young ladies finished 12th and did not advance to the Junior Olympics.
Part 2 – At 17/18, these young ladies finished 4th and earned the opportunity to compete in the 2021 Junior Olympics. These photos embody the essence of what Lightning Spikes Track Club strives to instill in all of our athletes – teamwork, sportsmanship, trust, spiritual connection, and commitment to the process to achieve your goals.
Organized in 1988, Atlanta Youth Running Foundation (formerly The Atlanta Track Club Foundation) was formed as a sister organization to the Atlanta Track Club. Originally named The Atlanta Track Club Foundation, the name was changed in 2021 to Atlanta Youth Running Foundation.