MIAMI (WSVN) - Most kids love to play sports, but not everyone can afford to join teams. One man in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood remembers what that was like, and he’s making sure things are different for kids in his neighborhood. 7’s Robbin Simmons has more.
Malcolm Moyse is a City of Miami police officer with a passion.
Malcolm Moyse, Miami Police Department: “One team, one fight! One team, one fight!”
Every day after school, you’ll find Officer Moyse coaching the Miami Overtown Tornadoes track and field team. These kids, ages 4-18, are from the same neighborhood where he grew up.
Malcolm Moyse: “My parents were regular working people, but they were struggling, and every time that I would actually join a program, whenever it was time to pay, I would stop participating because my parents could never afford to pay.”
Moyse never forgot how much that hurt. That’s why he vowed his program would be free for all.
Malcolm Moyse: “That was something God let me experience, so that I can do what I do today.”
He sees himself in these kids. More than half live below the poverty level — with no money for track shoes.
“I hate to see that they can’t afford the shoes, but it teaches them to share.” – City of Miami Officer Malcolm Moyse
Some are homeless, living in a shelter for the past year. Raquel Hanshaw is grateful her kids are on his team.
Raquel Hanshaw, mom: “It keeps them occupied. It keeps their mind off what’s going on.”
And the hours spent in training keeps kids off the streets.
Dorothy Ruffin: “It’s good for them, they doing positive things.”
Dorothy Ruffin’s 10-year-old grandson Marlon Eason was on the team. He was killed in a drive-by shooting last year — the day he missed practice.
Pastor Willie Williams: “Anything I can do to help you.”
When he’s not on the track, Moyse meets with community leaders, asking for help and donations. Volunteers help him keep the team up and running.
Brandyss Howard: “It’s about grabbing them now and wrapping our arms around them as mentors, as business people and say, ‘We see you, and we know that you have potential.”
Malcolm Moyse: “You lean into the curve, and you dig in.”
During practice, the kids work on form and technique.
Le’nai Hunter, runs track: “It was always my dream to be running on a track and winning medals.”
They learn to dream and to set goals.
Jakarie Sands, runs track: “When I get a scholarship, I can do stuff important with my life and not end up in the streets selling drugs and doing all that bad stuff.”
Malcolm Moyse: “The program is not about competition. It’s about the kids doing the best they they can do.”
Always doing their best. It’s just one of many life lessons Coach Moyse hopes will keep these kids on the right track.
Malcolm Moyse: “Winners never quit. Quitters never win.”
The Tornadoes compete in meets on weekends, and they’re also hoping to go to the championship track meet in Houston, Texas this summer. If you’d like to make a donation, go to the Overtown Tornadoes track and field GoFundMe: www.gofundme.com/MiamiTornadoesInc.
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