The Danbury Lightning Youth Track & Field Team

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish


By Estela Camacho

Does your child like to run short or long distances? Does he or she like to jump and throw balls? Perhaps she may have an interest in joining our track and field team. The Danbury Lightning Youth Track & Field team was founded in 2011 as part of the Danbury Athletic Youth Organization (DAYO). The goal of the program is to allow middle-school athletes in the Danbury area the opportunity to learn youth track and field while they compete. The Lightning serves as a feeder to the Danbury High School (DHS) track and field team, with a number of athletes who have come through our program doing well on the current team. Participants have the opportunity to get into great condition, learn about track and field and compete. Practices are designed to allow each athlete to reach his potential in a fun, competitive environment, and are held in the evening during the week, with meets in the afternoon during the week or on the weekend. We are members of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and compete locally in the Western Connecticut Conference.

Our five coaches work with the team as a group in sprints (100M, 200M and 400M Dash) and distance (800M, 1600M and 3000M Run). We also work with individual athletes independently on specialty events, such as hurdles and field events (Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put, Discus and Turbo Javelin) to ensure that they are prepared for success. Our focus is on building character, self-esteem and teamwork in our athletes.

The team began working with middle school students in 6th through 8th grade, but the program has been so well received, that it has been expanded to 5th grade and this year, for the first time, we will open the program to 4th graders as well.

Track and field has two seasons. The spring season is run during the school year, beginning in March and ending in early June. We are now offering a discount, with early registration (before December 31, 2015) at $70.00. At the end of the season, there is an awards banquet. Each athlete is recognized for his or her participation with a certificate, with outstanding accomplishments being recognized with medals. The summer season begins in early June and ends in early August. It’s a great opportunity for athletes to start or continue their training while seeing increased competition. It’s also a great way to stay in shape going into the fall.

“Every day we have an opportunity to get better or worse. Give your best today and every day to get better,” says Walt Gunter, head coach and commissioner of the DAYO Track & Field Program. Coach Gunter has been with the program since it began in 2011 and has been a coach and mentor in Danbury for over 15 years. He is entering his third season as the commissioner and enjoys actively participating with the athletes during practice to create a fun, competitive, environment. You can contact Coach Gunter by e-mail at or by telephone at 203-470-5123

For questions in Spanish or Portuguese, you can contact the DAYO secretary at 203-530-2457. We hope your child will try our track and field program. Thank you!

Registration Fees:

Early Registration (Before December 31, 2015) – $70.00

January 1-March 21, 2016 – $90.00

After March 21, 2016 – $100.00

After March 31, 2016 – $105.00

This article was written by Estela Camacho, Danbury Athletic Youth Organization 

(DAYO) secretary. For more information, or to contact Estela, please call 203-530-2457or email

Leave a Comment