On a beautiful sunny day at the William Hill Field on the campus of Renaissance High, the Wayne County Healthy New Me (WCHNM) Track and Field Meet had its initial gathering.
Former Wayne County Commissioner, Keith Williams, who has always been a supporter of track and field for area youth, after much work, finally saw his vision come to life.
“What I’m trying to do is have a venue for our children to succeed,” he said. “As a native Detroiter and former track and field athlete, I know how getting involved in the sport changed my life. It helped me get the discipline and work ethic needed to succeed in anything you do in life.
“Running track at Henry Ford High and then Eastern Michigan made me want to share some of the lesson I’ve learn about how one can use sports to better themselves.”
Williams said Healthy New Me is a wellness initiative sponsored by Wayne County that encourages people of all ages to get out and exercise — walking, running or cycling.
Many of the organizers had on T-shirts that said “Courageous.” Williams noted that Courageous is a non-profit organization that works with Detroit Public Schools’ sports programs to help support youth activities.
“Courageous is an idea that Keith started while in office,” former assistant Ron Woolfork said. “Many times when a person is out of office, they relax, kickback and ride off into the sunset, but not Keith. He is a worker and believer in the kids and sports’ ability to provide the discipline and character forming that kids really need today.”
Williams’ first WCHNM Track and Field Meet saw youth and adults of all ages and from all over the state of Michigan show up to compete at the track at Renaissance High.
“With Courageous I want to continue to help DPS schools,” Williams explained, “but I really want to focus on middle school. My dream is to set up sports programs for middle school kids. Events like flag football, soccer, baseball, basketball track and field and volleyball, I want to expose these to the kids before they get to high school.”
Williams has put together a good team of people that care about the kids, like Cass Tech track star Johnie Drake, who won the PSL city title in the 100- and 200-meters in 2001.
“I am out here to support the youth and the city,” Drake said.
“There is too much negativity going on, so through events like this we can be role models and show kids they can still be successful and productive. I want them to know through track and field they do not have to be a product of their environments; they can stand above their situations and do better and more.”
Williams noted that he has some great sponsors and caring people and he hope next year will be even better. His vision will continue to manifest itself into reality.
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!