GALVESTON – Paul Morgan remembers what the feeling is like: Stepping on to the track for the first time.

“I ran the 50- and the 100-yard dash,” Morgan said. “I’m going to say I won — it sounds better.”

That happened sometime in the late 1980s, when Morgan’s parents brought him to an event called “the Jesse Owens,” a Galveston Housing Authority-sponsored track and field competition.

The event served as the first taste of track competition for many Galveston children — including Morgan.

The authority stopped having the event in the 1990s.

“It was something that gave that first taste, and a love and a passion for running track,” Morgan said. “I guess it just fizzled out.”

Now, Morgan wants to bring it back.

Morgan has named the event — the Kermit Courville Health Day — after Courville, his great uncle and legendary Ball High School track and football coach.

It will include races for children, as well as a health fair featuring local gyms and health-related organizations.

Morgan said that free health screening will be provided for children preparing to go back to school.

In addition to promoting personal health, the event may serve as a kind of development program to get pre-high school students in Galveston involved in organized sports, Morgan said.

Galveston was known for its track and field teams and could be again, Morgan said.

But the greater issue is restoring a positive event.

“God put it on my heart not to complain about things if you want to serve the community, but to actually do something about it,” Morgan said. “I have three little girls. I want them to be involved in sports and know the history of Galveston.

“If I’m not willing to try to do things in the community, then no else will.”


At a glance

WHAT: Kermit Courville Health Day

WHEN: 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 9

WHERE: Kermit Courville Stadium, 1307 27th St.

REGISTRATION: Forms for race participants are available at Galveston Boys and Girls Club, 4420 Bernardo De Galvez Ave.; Wright Cuney Recreation Center, 718 41st St.; McGuire Dent Recreation Center, 2222 28th St.

Registration is open to all children, ages 4 to 12.

DONATIONS: Donations can be made out to “Kermit Courville Family Health Day” at JSC Banks.

INFO: 409-526-5551

Contact report John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or john.ferguson@galvnews.com. Follow him on Twitters, @johnwferguson.

(1) comment

Paula Flinn

Good for you, Paul Morgan! I remember you in my class and running track at Ball High. You were one of my favorite students! Thank you for "passing it forward" and giving back to the community.

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