Sometime in the early 2000’s a 15 year old high jumper from Fowler High School answered his coach’s question, Would you like to teach little kids how to high jump?
Yes, said Shomari. He would.
Shomari taught 275 children how to jump like the College of Oswego’s soon-to-be 7-time ECAC Champ. His teenage charm was infectious and that event on the Track and Field Camp schedule quickly became the most popular offering. The founders of Felder Stadium had put together a teaching program for 55 - 60 children ages 7 - 12. Syracuse Parks partnered with us and, today, continues to offer the camp among their summer activities. Ten children per group rotate through all six events, long and high jump, throws, sprints and mid-distance running, and cross country, every day for a week. In 2000 it became the conceptual glimmer in the eye of year-round joy on the track.
Shomari occasionally did a jumps clinic, during the camp. The children would gather to see the exhibition. They said, Ooooooooooooo ! every time he lofted over the bar. He told us later, I never really knew my sport until I tried to teach it to someone else, a good insight for a teenager. But, of course, he WAS a teenager, so when we weren’t looking--or when he thought we weren’t looking--he taught the kids how to do a back flip over the bar.
How we loved him. Love him still. His last name is Felder.
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