AUSTIN, Texas – Marathon Kids, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, announced today the addition of former Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross to the board of directors.
As a standout freshman track and field athlete at the University of Texas in 2003, Richards-Ross won the NCAA national championship in the 400 meter race; in 2004, she turned pro. Now an entrepreneur, author, TV sports analyst, speaker, mother, and media personality, Richards-Ross also runs sports clinics for kids and is committed to children’s health and wellness.
“I am honored to contribute to the Marathon Kids organization as a member of the board,” said Richards-Ross. “As a longtime Nike ambassador, it’s a great fit for me and I’m excited to help more children succeed through running.”
Richards-Ross is one of the world’s best and most accomplished 400-meter runners, starting when she began running competitively when she was seven. She’s also one of only two American women to win an Olympic gold medal in the individual 400-meter race. Richards-Ross earned five medals at three separate Olympics, four of which are gold, along with five world championships, and one world indoor championship. On record, she has run the fastest sub-50 second 400-meter races of any woman athlete and was undefeated for nearly two years.
“We’re ecstatic and proud to have Sanya Richards-Ross on our team,” said Marathon Kids Board Chair Betsy Foster. “Her experience and credibility as a runner and world athlete gives us even more depth as an organization. Marathon Kids is built to put kids on a path for healthier lives, and Sanya has an unmatched commitment to young runners.”
Richards-Ross founded the Gold Standard Foundation, which seeks to improve the community through sports and education; the TeamSRR Sports Clinic, which provides free instruction to young athletes; and the Sanya Richards-Ross Fast Track Program, which helps students in Jamaica by supplementing their education with extra classes, books, and funds for improving school infrastructure, and encouraging an active lifestyle. Earlier this year, The Austin American-Statesman announced that Richards-Ross would be race ambassador for the 42nd annual Capitol 10,000, presented by Baylor Scott & White Health on April 7, 2019.
“Sanya’s connection to Nike and love for youth sports is a wonderful gain for Marathon Kids,” said Marathon Kids CEO Cami Hawkins. “She knows what it takes to be a champion, and her enthusiasm for the sport will spill into our operations to inspire kids all over the country to set goals to achieve their dreams, too.”
Richards-Ross is also the author of three books: Right on Track: Run. Race. Believe (2018) for teens, Run with Me: The Story of a U.S. Olympic Champion (2017) for kids, and Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life (2017) for adults.
Married to former NFL athlete and Jim Thorpe Award winner Aaron Ross, Richards-Ross and her family live in Austin, Texas.
ABOUT MARATHON KIDS
Marathon Kids’ mission is to show kids that through running, they can achieve more than they ever thought possible, and put them on the path to healthier lives. The nonprofit organization empowers teachers, parents, and coaches to start a Marathon Kids running club in their home, school, out-of-school time organization, or camp.
Kids enrolled in the program work at their own pace to run, or walk, the equivalent mileage of up to four marathons (104.8 miles) over the course of the running club season. Marathon Kids provides the training, rewards, tools, and resources to a local network of dedicated, motivated, and inspiring coaches supporting them every step of the way.
Corporate partners and supporters include Nike, HEB, St. David’s Foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, LA Dodgers Foundation, Active Schools, MedSpring, Austin Runners Club, Tejas Trails, and Athletes for Hope.
For more information, please visit marathonkids.org.
ABOUT SANYA RICHARDS-ROSS
Sanya Richards-Ross is the fastest American woman in history at 400 meters. She became the first American woman in 28 years, and only the second in history, to be crowned Olympic Champion over 400m at the 2012 Games in London. Surging past her competitors in the last 50 meters of the race, Richards-Ross claimed her crown as 400 meter queen in dramatic fashion. The London games also set the stage for Sanya to become the second most decorated female track and field Olympians of all time. By winning her fourth gold medal, after anchoring the 4x400m relay team to gold for the third consecutive time, Sanya firmly solidified her place in sports history.
In addition to Sanya’s track prowess, Sanya is also an entrepreneur, TV personality, Public Speaker and Humanitarian. She is the founder of the Sanya Richards-Ross Fast Track Program in Kingston, Jamaica which has provided more than 700 children with literacy training, physical education, and healthy meals. Her sports clinics educate, empower and provide youth with tools and strategies to excel both on and off the track.