1) Get your workout in AND volunteer at the same time.
How many other volunteer opportunities can say the same thing? Serving as an Active SWV Kids Run Club Coach allows you to run around and be physically active with kids, all while teaching them how important physical activity is to leading a healthy life. You’ll find that the Kids Run Club manual you’ll use as a resource is full of basic exercises you can build on and create great workouts for anyone, including yourself.
2) Help do meaningful work
Kids Run Club participants take a pre and post season survey to evaluate how the program impacts their weekly activity levels, screen time, sugary drink consumption, and more. As a Kids Run Club volunteer, you would help administer these surveys, and have the option to analyze the data to produce a baseline data report. The final survey data will be used in Active SWV reports and grant applications to help expand the Kids Run Club program and allow Active SWV is able to reach more children across the region.
3) You get to hang out with kids
After spending all day around adults, it can be super refreshing to hang out with a younger crowd. We can all learn from the ways kids interact with others and see the world. Volunteering with the Active SWV Kids Run Club Program gives you the chance to spend time with little ones and learn from them just as much as they will learn from you.
4) Keep yourself accountable.
Committing yourself to showing up for weekly practices can help keep you accountable for your own physical activity goals too. Kids Run Club volunteering will give you at least an hour a week dedicated to being active – that’s some great time to work towards your own goals as well as helping others!
5) Get out of the college bubble- at least once a week.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with the college experience- classes, deadlines, homework, staring at a computer, clubs, activities – and you may forget about the bigger picture and the world you live in. Serving in the Active SWV Kids Run Club Program allows you to get out of the bubble of day to day college life to do something good for the greater community. It’s an excuse to get off campus and spend some time outside while making an impact in your community.
6) Form real relationships in the community
Being an Active SWV Kids Run Club volunteer gives you the opportunity to form real relationships with kids, families, and teachers at your Club’s location. You’re not only helping kids form friendships with their teammates, but you’re doing the same for yourself. Building these connections can be a truly special experience, and may even help you as you go forward in your career.
7) You don’t have to be a “runner” to be a Kids Run Club Coach
Not a runner? Not to worry! Active SWV provides all the training, information, and tools necessary to coach. Volunteers of all abilities have the same opportunity to serve as positive examples of healthy habits and help get youth excited about being active. All you need to bring is a positive attitude and a desire to help kids in your community get moving! Plus, you won’t be at it alone. You’ll be working alongside other dedicated Kids Run Club volunteer Coaches you can lean on for support.
8) Fun Runs
All Active SWV Kids Run Clubs culminate in a celebratory Fun Run for the participants, families, and volunteers on the last day of the season. At the Fun Run, kids run a predetermined distance while friends and family cheer them on or run with them. Active SWV supplies music, special equipment (color run, anybody?), healthy snacks, medals, and shirts, while the kids get to have a fun last practice to get them excited for the next Kids Run Club season.
9) Share your passion for physical activity and health
Let your passion for health change the world, and start right here in southern West Virginia with elementary and middle school youth. When children have the opportunity to be part of a Kids Run Club and interact with volunteers who believe in the program, they will be more excited about the healthy message the club imparts. You never know how far your impact will reach.
10) It’s a great resume booster
Adding ‘Kids Run Cub Volunteer Coach’ to your resume is going to look pretty good. It’s not only the volunteer experience that you’ll gain, but also other tangible skills and experiences like teaching leadership and confidence, organizing groups of kids, and collecting survey data.
11) You get to be a role model
Your status as a college student will automatically make you a cool Run Club Coach. Kids love to have older kids around, and will want to do what you do. This gives you the unique ability to impact kids’ behavior in ways that others can’t. Sometimes when you are in a position to be a role model for others, you are challenged to be the best version of yourself.
12) Change lives, and yours too
At the end of the day, Kids Run Clubs are all about teaching kids to have a positive and healthy relationship with physical activity so they can live a healthier lifestyle going forward. As a volunteer coach, you’ll help build their confidence, foster their love for physical activity, instill them with healthy habits, teach teamwork skills, and inspire them to be their best selves. By helping kids gain these experiences and learn new abilities, you’ll be changing their lives in positive ways every week they come to practice!