Organizations Come Together to Host Track and Field Clinic in Drake Stadium with Student-Athlete Coaches

Drake University will partner with Opportunity on Deck to host a college visit and a track and field clinic at Drake Stadium (2719 Forrest Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50311) on Saturday, April 20th from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. This is an exciting opportunity for any child in the Des Moines area in fourth through eighth grade to try out track and field, tour Drake’s campus, enjoy lunch on campus and watch either the Drake softball or football team play at NO COST to the participants or their families.

The program is a partnership between the Drake athletic department, Drake track and field/cross country athletes, Drake community engaged learning and service, and Opportunity on Deck. To help run the clinic, Drake track and field athletes have volunteered to coach the youth in long jump, shot put, and running/relay events and fundamentals. The goal of this clinic and college visit is not only to introduce Des Moines youth to one of the most popular sports in the U.S., but also to get the students familiar with a college environment, expose them to positive college role models and allow them to envision themselves as a college student.

Blake Boldon, Senior Associate Athletics Director and Director of the Drake Relays shared, “We’re thrilled to launch a partnership with Opportunity on Deck to support their youth development efforts in our community.  Not only will these students get to learn from our Division I track and field athletes, they’ll get an up-close look at the Drake Road Races and the first finishers of the 2019 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee, in addition to experiencing the excitement of Bulldog softball and football.” This college visit event is part of a quarterly program taking youth to local colleges and universities, which is a departure from the organization’s typical structure of sports leagues corresponding with the season.

This clinic was made possible by the support community partners and sponsors. Notably Drake University, O’Donnell and Friends Charities and Des Moines Area Regional Transportation (DART) have aided in clinic and transportation costs.

About Opportunity on Deck
Founded by Dylan DeClerck, Opportunity on Deck provides young students with year-round opportunities to participate in organized sports completely free of charge. Opportunity on Deck teaches valuable athletic skills and techniques; provides role models for the participants; instills life-long values of healthy living, good character, teamwork and dedication; and promotes diverse communities.

About Drake University
Drake University is recognized as one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the Midwest. A midsized, private university in Des Moines, Iowa, they offer the benefits and resources of a larger institution along with the advantages of intimate class sizes and close personal relationships.