You? A cross-country coach? Why not?

Theoden Janes | Run, Théoden, Run Blog | September 13, 2011

Do you get a lot out of running? Would you like to give something back?

Here's an opportunity: It's called Cross-Country for Youth, a 10-week after-school running program designed to combat childhood obesity and promote character-building among middle schoolers. More than 325 students participate in the five-year-old program run by Reggie McAfee, the first African American to break the four-minute mile barrier.

What does this have to do with you, and with "giving back"? Well, the program -- which is in about 22 Charlotte-Mecklenburg elementary and middle schools and three Mecklenburg Parks -- needs coaches and character presenters.

In addition to practices, held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6 p.m., student participants will be competing in a series of cross-country meets. The estimated weekly time commitment for coaches is two hours over the 10-week period; all materials and training will be provided, and it's OK to buddy up and coach with a friend.

For details on Cross-Country for Youth, click here. If you are interested, contact McAfee via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. this week -- the program's fifth season is just about to begin.