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Sand Springs track coach buys 11 pairs of spikes for students

Posted at 8:11 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-01 01:26:06-05

SAND SPRINGS - The statewide budget crisis isn't just impacting classrooms. Extra curricular activities are being cut too.

School districts are trying to cut corners as much as they can. Sand Springs had to trim coaching salaries in every sport, making it difficult as more students continue to sign up. One track coach says that's just one of their concerns and having money for equipment is another.

He runs, jumps and hopes to go long. They're sports that don't get the publicity and they also don't get the funding.

"Just this year, our athletic budget was cut 20% across the board for all sports," Charles Page High School Track Coach Virginia Williams said. 

Williams says the budget is just $4,000 for more than 50 high school students as well as middle school students. Williams, who's also a math teacher, spent last weekend shopping.

"All together I've probably spent around $400 in total just on spikes this year," she said.

That money was out of her own pocket.

"To me, I feel like mine is just a drop in the bucket compared to what other coaches have done for their programs," Williams said. 

In his spare time, Mayor Mike Burdge helps with track, too.

"This is probably the closest thing I have to a hobby, so I don't mind spending my money on the kids," he said.

For five years, he's been a coach and spent more than $6,000 on equipment.

"If you believe in something, you put your money in it," Burdge said. "I want them to have somebody telling them to set your goals higher you can do more than you think you can. That's a lot of the reasons why I do it."

As their students practice, these coaches doing everything they can to help.

"We've already had three fundraisers this year just to buy new uniforms," Coach Williams said. "It had been over six years since we got new uniforms."

Now, Coach Williams just hopes the finish line comes soon for Oklahoma's budget crisis.