The Council family of Durham sure keeps busy. But they’re having a great time as they travel the Triangle together to pursue their sports passions.
Recently, they capped a busy day by traveling to Southeast Raleigh to compete in an Elks Hoop Shoot free-throw contest – the two youngest sons won trophies and advanced to the next round of competition – and tired as they were after a long evening, they took time afterward to talk about how much fun they have as a track and field family as well.
The four children of Rick and Ruth Council of Durham got their start in track and field by participating in low-cost events open to anyone, including the annual State Games of North Carolina and the annual Hershey’s Track and Field Games local meets.
Eldest son Ricky Council II says he “started at the State Games to see where I’m at compared to everybody else.” He did well from the start, taking first in the high jump at age 5 or 6, he says, and progressing to a personal best of 6 feet even so far. A 6-foot-4 sophomore, he’s a standout multi-sport athlete at Durham’s Northern High School.
Now 16, he has aged out of Hershey’s competition, which is reserved for ages 9 to 14, but he’s still cheering on sister Rhianna, 14, and brothers Ricky III, 12, and Ricky IV, 10.
Ricky IV, whose events include the 400, the high jump and sometimes the long jump, says that if he were coaching others on how to get involved, “I would teach them how to do the event and then break it down simply to them so they could understand it easier.”
For example, he says, something he learned about the high jump was the need to arch his back to get over the bar properly. Once he did that, his performances improved, and his high jump best of 4 feet, 2 inches is challenging Ricky III’s best of 4-3.
What does your family do?
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