Friday, March 6, 2015

HEALTHY KIDS

One thing you'll notice if you run enough races: They're getting older!

At many small, local races, runners in their 40s in 50s often dominate the awards platform.
Also, at some local competitions, the 20-25 and 25-29 age divisions sometimes have NO participants.

Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of us "older" runners, but we need to pass along our love of our sport to the youth.

Couple this with the alarming childhood obesity rate in both America and the world, and it's clear we need a call to action.

Thankfully, in my little corner of the world, concerned runners and coaches, like Doctors Jason and Jennifer Burgess, are promoting the sport of running to our youth in a fun manner. Below are a couple of examples of programs they have become involved with.

As described on the website: http://www.healthykidsrunningseries.org/The Healthy Kids Running Series was created by Jeff Long, Founder and President of Pattison Sports Group, to provide kids with a positive, educational, and fun experience in the world of running. To combat the increasing rates of child obesity in America, Jeff designed a running program that would motivate kids to be healthy and active and provide a fun environment to improve their self-esteem. Jeff believed the program would encourage kids to adopt a “Get Up and Go” attitude.

The Healthy Kids Running Series is a five week running program in the spring and fall for kids from Pre-K to 8th grade. Each Race Series takes place once a week and offers age appropriate running events including the 50 yard dash, the 1/4 mile, the 1/2 mile and the one mile run. Kids compete each week of the Series for a chance to earn points and at the end of the Series the top boy and girl with the most points in their respective age division receive a trophy. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you run because all participants receive a medal and gift bag for their achievements courtesy of our sponsors!
Join us as we encourage kids to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle, help increase their self-esteem, and make new friends!
The Miners Track Project is a local USATF club located in Minersville, Pennsylvania, created to develop young athletes from first to eighth grades. You can check it out at: http://www.minerstrack.com/, and Drs. Burgess will be happy to pass along information that will assist you in developing similar programs in your area.
As we "old folks" can attest, this sport is a lifetime endeavor. There is no retirement age. Besides, retirement is something you do from work. Let's pass our love for our sport to the youth, so they can enjoy a healthy life for many years to come.