Silver Cheetahs run fast, work even harder

By DaShawn Brown - email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – They're named after the fastest known animal to roam the earth.

And with good reason.

The Silver Cheetahs, an organization founded in 1991 by former track coaches Ed Jinks and Jerome White, have produced numerous scholarship track and field athletes by giving them an opportunity and a platform to thrive in their youth.

Co-founder Ed Jinks says he's simply affording an opportunity he received as a child.

"When I was coming up, I traveled to different towns that I never saw before, so I decided I would give the kids in my neighborhood the same [chance]," he said.

The Silver Cheetahs have traveled, and medaled, all over the country, competing in cities like Detroit, MI, Des Moines, IA, and Virginia Beach Virginia.

Athletes in the organization also say the Cheetahs have given them a newfound confidence.

"Once you get your medal, you feel like you want to cry and you're so proud of yourself," said 11-year-old Salvador Caldaron.

For 9th year Cheetah Jade Stokes, her confidence boost came in the form of an encouraging word.

"The second week Coach Jinks brought me out here, I was running, I was throwing, and he said you have a future and I said okay, so I just tried it and kept going with it," she said.

"I consider them all my children," said Jinks.  "When you get really attached to these kids you become a father, grandfather image.  That's what I'm getting every day.  People say you look so young.  I say thank you because I'm staying with the kids."

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