WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — For the past two decades, John Wright has helped create Wichita Athletics, a track and field program geared to help kids in the community.
“It gets rough, the streets are hard,” Wright said. “There’s enough of that village here among professionals to help you navigate your way.”
The club program has become a haven for many kids who come from different backgrounds.
“To see them reach their potential and have that confidence, it’s not all about gold medals,” Wright said. “It’s about achievement, it’s about effort, it’s about attitude.”
The staff of Wichita Athletics caters to more than 20 children weekly for track and field events across the state. Wright is the head coach.
“As a coach, we have the responsibility to be safe havens,” he said.
For him, staying on the track became his therapy after his family experienced the death of a loved one.
“The kids, you know, they save your life, because life is hard,” Wright said. “The kids do more for me than I think I do for them.”
He uses his own experience of loss to teach his team with compassion and help them hurdle life’s obstacles.
“You really can’t speak to that unless you’ve experienced loss,” Wright said.
The Wichita Athletics’ success stories pour into the program every year as former athletes return to pay it forward. For Wright, it is a reminder that he is on the right path.
“This is where I’m supposed to be for right now, this is the path that I’ve been set on,” he said. “If I leave it, there’s going to be trouble, so I’m happy to continue this path for here and for right now, and I’m where I’m supposed to be. This is my happy spot.”
For more information you can visit WichitaAthleticsTrackClub.com.