WebXtra: Athletic Director talks about donation made by Olympian Eric Thomas’ family

WebXtra: Athletic Director talks about donation made by Olympian Eric Thomas’ family
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 12:07 PM CST
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GARRISON, Texas (KTRE) -Today is the first day of the track season for Garrison ISD, and they have some new equipment and a trailer to start out the season with. Olympian Eric Thomas’ family donated the supplies to the district to honor him by.

Eric Thomas Graduated from Garrison High School in 1992. from there he went on to run track in college and made it to the 2000 summer Olympics in Sydney Australia. He finished in the top 15 in the 400-meter hurdles. Thomas passed away unexpectedly December 30th in Houston. This week, his family donated an Olympic cargo trailer full of track equipment Thomas used at his training facilities.

Superintendent Reid Spivey says they are honored by this donation.

“Our sports both male and female will benefit from this donation. They can use it to enhance their speed skills and become better athletes all around,” Spivey said.

The trailer came with battle ropes, strength training bungees, jump ropes, speed and agility cones, mini hurdles, as well as regular hurdles. The donation also came with the trailer itself.

Clay Thomas, Thomas’ brother says the family knew this is something he would have wanted.

“Eric was a kind person; he gave back to his community. This is just one of the things that we noted he would have wanted from us, to keep his legacy alive,” Thomas said.

Athletic Director Brandon Alvarez says this can all be immediately put into use.

“All of these are really great especially with young kids on speed and agility development,” Alvarez said.

Mayor of the city of Garrison, Keith Yarbrough was there when the trailer was dropped off and donated.

“Eric had done so many things for us here and kind of put us on the map. And for that family to want to donate that trailer and all of the stuff in it back to the school was a huge, huge deal,” Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough says this gives the kids in the district motivation.

“That donation lets those kids know, that it doesn’t matter where you come from, if you have the will and the drive and the want to. You can be exactly whatever you want to be,” Yarbough said.

Spivey says many inspirational people have come out of Garrison ISD and Thomas was one of them.

“So, it should just be an inspiration to the kids, to be able to see that you can come from a little bitty school, and you can go and do big things,” Spivey said.

Thomas says he knows his brother is looking down on them.

“We hope that we will not be forgotten not only just because of who he was as an athlete but really who he was as a person,” Thomas said.

Garrison has the Eric Thomas relays in his honor, and he is a nominee for the bulldog ring of honor.