PINE BLUFF, AR -A track team in Pine Bluff known as the Louis Moss Track Club is packing their bags and heading to compete in the Junior Olympics. But Coach Shannaine Eans says it's not about how many medals they win.
"There are so many obstacles that they face in the streets and so many things that are going on in their everyday environment. That we go beyond athletics, we mentor them we talk to them. We find out what's going on at home, what's going on at school, what happened this past school year," says Eans.
The track club has athletes of all ages. The club's goal, to keep their athletes from becoming a statistic in a community that is known for crime.
"There is one less child behind bars. There is one less child that's not on as we say down here on papers," says Eans.
Over the past three years they have sent 71 athletes to the Junior Olympics. The group gives kids a place to go and people to turn to.
"Track is a way to get out of the streets. Instead of doing bad things, I come and talk to the coaches if anything is wrong happening. They are just like my second mom or something," says 13-year-old Michael Johnson.
Coach Eans hopes her athletes' success will help put the city of Pine Bluff in the headlines for the right reasons.
"What people don't understand here in Pine Bluff is this is positive. Because when they see and hear the name Pine Bluff it's not paper but they hear it announced for these young people and they are doing something so great. The outlook changes, the stereotype is broken," says Eans.
The athletes will be competing in different events over the next week at the Junior Olympics competition.