April 2018 Grant Awarded to Panthers Club


DSC_0782.JPGThe first USATF New England grant of 2018 has been awarded to Coach Bridget Russo and the Panthers Club based out of Lowell Community Charter Public School. The school serves over 800 students from kindergarten to eighth grade. Located in Lowell, Massachusetts, the Panthers Club started six years ago as a way to give athletes an opportunity to compete in track & field.


The Panthers Club requires no fee to join, but athletes fundraise throughout the year putting on Movie Nights, a Walk-a-Thon and a GoFundMe video to raise money to attend meets. With roughly 100 athletes and growing, the number of students Coach Russo brings to the Junior Olympic Series has been growing each year.  However, only a select few can compete due to costs. “Receiving this grant will help the dream of our athletes to make it to Nationals come true. Our numbers are growing, and the Junior Olympic series will be more expensive this year due to the Regional meet being held in New York City,” explained Coach Russo.


Athletes from the Panthers Club have no track to practice on, but they persevere and use whatever resources they have to ensure their team as a whole is successful. “We hope that one day we will not have to worry about funds,” says Coach Russo, “We are grateful to receive the grant this year, as it will help the families fundraise the cost of Nationals.”


The USATF-NE Grant Program, established in 2008, promotes excellence in USATF disciplines by supporting athletes, clubs, and programs of the association, with an objective of increasing membership, participation, and status of the sport.

The grant program is open to USATF members and USATF-NE member clubs only, and has three aspects - program, travel/coaching, and youth.