The Panther Creek Elementary Run Club, powered by Active SWV, completed its first run club session on October 19th with a celebratory fun run! The Panther Creek Elementary Run club had over 75 participants, ages ranging from kindergarten to 5th grade, and more than 15 parent and teacher volunteers that helped to lead the run club on a weekly basis. The participants were divided into 4 groups: the Bobcats (K-1st), Mountain Lions (2nd), Jaguars (3rd), and, of course, the Panthers (4th-5th). Each group was led by a dedicated volunteer coach, along with the additional support and assistance from the many other parent and teacher volunteers.
At weekly practices, the Bobcats, Mountain Lions, and Jaguars alternated between training runs and fun running game stations. Meanwhile, the oldest group, the Panthers, received personal training from Dustin Wood, a volunteer with a collegiate level cross country background. When asked about his experience with the group, Wood explained:
“It’s been a great experience so far. I just want to see kids get off the couch and stay active because it helps them; It helps them in school, it helps with their behavior, it helps with their health. It’s just good all around. I feel like they’re starting to learn to pace themselves. They still have a long way to go, but I’ve noticed that they’re more confident. The first day they were like, ‘oh no we have to run,’ but they’re starting to like it now. They’re learning that it can be a fun thing to do.”
In addition to having a safe space to play and learn about physical activity, participants received nutritional education from the WVU Extension Nutrition Instructor, who attended each practice to share Re-think Your Drink messages and offer tastings of fruit infused waters such as blackberry-mint, grape, and lemon-lime.
For Panther Creek’s fun run event, runners gathered together with their groups and coaches. The Bobcats and Mountain Lions approached the start line first, preparing to run 2 laps along a marked course around their field, while the Jaguars and Panthers lined the inside of the field to cheer on the runners. After the younger groups completed their 2 lap run, the runners switched places and the Bobcats and Mountain Lions took on the cheering role as the Jaguars and Panthers completed a 4-lap run. Other spectators gathered around the finish to witness the final moments of the exciting run.
After all runners finished, each runner was personally announced and received an Active SWV Fun Run medal, Active SWV shirt, and a certificate of participation.
The Panther Creek Run Club was made possible through funds raised from the Summersville Family Triathlon. Thank you to all participants and sponsoring organizations.
The Panther Creek Elementary Spring 2017 Run Club was made possible with support from the Nicholas County Community Foundation.