Xavier Cross Country and Track and Field Teams Head Downtown To Support City Gospel Mission

Sophomore Matt Orlando organized the group of athletes from both Xavier's Cross Country and Track and Field teams that spent time at the City Gospel Mission on Saturday.

Sophomore Matt Orlando organized the group of athletes from both Xavier's Cross Country and Track and Field teams that spent time at the City Gospel Mission on Saturday.

On Saturday March 9th the Xavier University cross country and track and field teams traveled downtown to the City Gospel Mission to run and encourage members within the Step Forward program. City Gospel Mission, located on Elm Street in downtown Cincinnati, is a church mission that strives to help the people of Cincinnati that are struggling to overcome poverty and difficult life circumstances.

The Step Forward program is an effort that the mission began back in 2008 to help people fight drug and alcohol addictions by finding meaning in their lives through running. Participants become educated about the important role physical fitness and proper nutrition has in the recovery process. Step Forward is an eight week training program leads up to participating in various races during the Flying Pig Marathon weekend.

Every spring since its inception, Step Forward has grown exponentially to encompass people that desire to overcome these obstacles in their lives. Additionally, more and more supporters continue to come out to participate in Step Forward. Xavier University's cross country and track and field teams enjoyed the experience and the opportunity to share inspirational stories with participants.

Sophomore runner Matt Orlando organized the group that came out to City Gospel Mission. "It's inspiring to be a part of this program." Matt said. "It opens your eyes to some real adversity that many people and families go through. It helps to put things in perspective for us and we are pleased that we can be seen as allies in an effort to help people overcome some serious life challenges."

To learn more about City Gospel Mission and Step Forward visit http://www.citygospelmission.org/train.html.