On March 31, 2012, athletes from Arizona, California, and Nevada will compete in the USA Track and Fields 48th Annual Phoenix Invitational held at Glendale Community College.
The USA Track and Field youth program was established in 2004, and provides young athletes an opportunity to be active and competitive. Through Zone Championship, athletes compete in track and field events within their residing state. After several preliminary competitions such as the Phoenix Invitational, performance youths advance to the Junior Olympic program. Dating back to the 1960’s, the Junior Olympics welcomes approximately 70,000 athletes each year. It is the largest youth development competition in the world.
12-year-old sprinter Anaya Bailey has competed since the age of 6. In 2009 she was a 2x Gold Medalist in the USA Nationals, and ranked eighth in the nation as a USA Junior Olympian. “Practicing a lot got me to where I am today”, stated Anaya. “I am extremely dedicated to this sport”. According to Florida State University Ph.D. professor K. Anders Ericsson, individual achievement is linked to drive, discipline and dedication.
Programs such as the USA Track and Field teach youths the determination and discipline they need to be successful. Individual athletes must bring the dedication.