Mission & Policy Statements

The Cougar Track Club’s mission is to promote the sport of amateur track and field and cross country while developing strong positive character traits and encourage a lifelong love of running and a healthy lifestyle in young athletes in the community of Albuquerque and the surrounding areas.

A statement regarding the founding principles and core values of Cougar Track Club, by Club Founder and Executive Director, Shane Cleveland:

Team, Shane Cleveland- Executive Director of Cougar Track Club here.....

Recently, I have been asked to provide the history and founding principles of Cougar Track Club (CTC) and also address how prayer has been foundational to CTC so that all know what we are about at the core and what to expect as a member of the Cougar family.
Julie (my bride) and I started the XC program as a division of Taylor Ranch Cougar Track Club (TRCTC) in 2007 and shortly thereafter I was asked to take over the track program as head coach. In 2009 we renamed it Cougar Track Club and dedicated the program to God, asking God to guide us and bring blessing to our program and to our families. We introduced a new focus and culture that you are a part of now as a member of the Cougar Family. Our 1st XC season in 2007 we had 24 athletes on the roster. Here are the roster estimates for the successive years: 60 in 2008, 85 in 2009, 100 in 2010, 120 in 2011, 160 in 2012, 130 in 2013, 130 in 2014 and 180 in 2015. In 2011 CXC logged three 1st and three 2nd place team podium finishes, the top performance in USATF Junior Olympic history. In 2012 CXC won an unprecedented 7 National team titles setting  Junior Olympic history as the new top performance ever recorded for a single club. But more importantly than numbers and finishes are the lives touched for good and character developed over the years.
CTC has been always been a running ministry to Julie and I, first and foremost for our 3 boys: Dakota, Jericho and Sequoyah and second to those who wanted to share in the program developed for our 3 boys. This program is founded and based on our family’s Judeo-Christian values and principles. The program is designed to be an environment of love, of safety, of acceptance, of encouragement, of accountability, of character development and of competitive performance. The success of CTC over the last 8 years has been due to the permeation of these values into the leadership, the coaching staff, the parents, the athletes and all who have been associated with CTC. It is a fact not, a coincidence nor an accident that our blessing has been because we have honored God and dedicated this program to Him.  
Regarding prayer. It as always been an integral part of CTC. I have prayed at every part and type of meeting CTC has ever had. I have not prayed at each individual meeting but definitely every type of gathering of CTC. At one time or another I have prayed in private and in public for and over CTC, including the end of the season parties, coach’s meetings, meets, practices, individually and in groups, you name it, it’s been prayed on, over or even the motivational programs, the fundraisers, etc, etc, etc. Prayer and honoring God through every talk, every initiative every part of CTC is 100% the reason for CTC success. My greatest fear has always been that I would be known as a good athlete (when I was younger)  or a good coach verses a good athlete/coach who is a bible believing Christian who loves Jesus and loves God and is motivated to bless his own children and inadvertently others as a way of honoring God. By nature I am selfish and I want the glory and honor however I am a work in progress. By writing this I want it to be clear and on the record that God gets the glory, not me or Julie. He has done a great work in CTC in spite of my gross inadequacies and my failures as leader.  
If the day comes that CTC stops praying over the team and the families and honoring God it will be the same day the club starts slipping into a downward spiral. Will the program be challenged even when honoring God? Absolutely! How does the athlete get stronger and faster, by the stress and challenge of hard training. CTC is no different. It will be challenged but will get stronger through adversity. So long as CTC and the leadership continue to honor God.
Therefore prayer to the Hebrew God of the bible will “occur” and will be "allowed" at CTC and never “suppressed” by any coach, parent, board member or any person period. If the head coach or their designee wants to pray over your athletes or you before a race or a practice or an activity of the club they are free to do that.
Let it be known that all faiths, all beliefs and all people are welcome, desired, loved and cherished and we are unified by the love of the sport of running and track and field! We have always accepted athletes to join our program at all times regardless of race, gender, religion, etc, etc. The exception has been limiting headcount when the track program became larger than we had physical space and coaching resources to safely conduct practice in the 170 + range. For XC we have never turned away athletes for any reason to train and compete with us up to and including the last day USATF allows a runner to register for a club before the state meet as we have not seen it to be “inclusive” at a developmental level to turn away a new runner who wants to be part of something special or who simply wants to run. We are in the business of getting young developmental athletes to run and reach their potential. There is no “exclusivity” here. If someone feels that public praying for the safety, the success and the blessing of the athletes and their family’s is not for them they will have to make their own decision about being part of the club. It is part of the package and you are volunteering to be a part of the program. This is not something we will argue about or is up for debate. There is very little possibility not to be exposed to prayer and discussion and references to God at CTC. So please make your decision about this before you register for the program. This is the core of CTC and deviation from it’s core is contrary to it’s essence, therefore if the program goes a different direction in the future from it’s core values it is no longer Cougar Track Club and will be dismantled and those in leadership at that time will need to start their own program under a different name and philosophy.
Many of you in 2015 do not even know who we are but you do now at least in beliefs and world view. My apologies if this is a shocker! This email and posting on our website should have happened years ago I suppose. My failure as a leader! Many of you do know us and this is not news at all. Regardless, know this: we love you, we cherish you and we pray for the success of your athletes, your safety, your leadership and ask for blessings in all of your lives.
God Bless You and GO COUGS!!!!!
Shane & Julie Cleveland
Shane Cleveland- Executive Director- Cougar Track Club

published 11/25/15

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  24k v. 2 Sep 30, 2010, 12:28 AM Shane Cleveland
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  205k v. 1 May 12, 2014, 11:53 PM Shane Cleveland
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  22k v. 4 Mar 5, 2012, 3:18 PM Shane Cleveland
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  16k v. 1 Aug 4, 2011, 9:54 PM Shane Cleveland
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  31k v. 2 Sep 30, 2010, 12:30 AM Shane Cleveland