THE ALICE COACHMAN TRACK & FIELD FOUNDATION
|The Alice Coachman Track & Field Foundation ( ACTFF ), a tax deductible, non-profit organization, was established in honor of America’s history-making world class athlete, Alice Coachman , who rose from obscurity to become an Olympic champion. She won her first US national track & field championship at an early age. She went on to win 34 US national titles, ten of which were consecutive championships in high jump events. After waiting through two canceled Olympic Games (8 years total), Coachman won the US women’s track & field team’s only 1948 Olympic gold medal, establishing herself as a world Olympic First and a pioneer for women in sports. Her combination Olympic gold medal and 10 consecutive US championships have never been duplicated.|
Coachman’s athletic triumphs can be attributed, in part, to a concerned teacher who recognized Coachman’s talents. She encouraged Coachman through a maze of red tape and social barriers to become a member of the best women’s athletic training program in the country, the Tuskegee Student-Athletes. Had it not been for this teacher and her awareness of the kind of athletic programs available, Coachman’s athletic career may have never developed. The program provided athletic, academic, cultural, and etiquette training to help Coachman develop into an amazing international athlete. Coachman’s story is not unique. Louise Tricard, in her book American Women Track & Field: A History, outlines the many unusual roads traveled by athletes to compete with the world’s best.
The ACTFF wants to continue to help athletes become winners. In light of recent reductions in government resources, educational cutbacks and limited sports scholarship opportunities, this assistance may be crucial to aspiring amateur athletes. It is our understanding that the ACTFF is one of few foundations, if not the only non-governmental assisted private foundation, set up to act as a clearinghouse to help proven amateur athletes achieve their full potential.
The clearinghouse is the start of our operation. A computerized network of corporations, foundations, organizations, schools and individuals is set up to direct an athlete to the required assistance. The network member is listed with information about the type of support they provide, the contact person, and the process to receive assistance. ACTFF will process the athlete’s request, refer the athlete to an appropriate network member and follow-up to ensure contact was made and document the results of the referral.
In many cases, the athlete requires specific educational information and/or professional training. ACTFF will direct the athlete to the appropriate professional, school, or organization. As a part of this linkage system, we have scheduled additional activities with AAHPERD (American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance). The AAHPERD is a national professional association of nearly 40,000 members from areas of health, physical education, recreation and dance. Many of the members are teachers and coaches. Our plan is to work with groups like AAHPERD, AAU ( Amateur Athletic Union ) and the Alumni Division of the USOC to provide linkages with those who have participated in and/or supported amateur athletics.