“I believe the potential for greatness still lies in the hearts of our communities and children. And if given the right encouragement and opportunities, who knows what could happen.” – Daniel McDowell
The Active SWV Kids Run Club program seeks to improve the health outcomes of southern West Virginia youth by empowering them with the opportunities, skills, knowledge, and confidence to be physically active. The central goal of the program is to instill healthy habits in our area’s youth and to get them excited about running and physical activity. Active SWV hopes that all participants find joy and confidence with running and physical activity, so that they can continue to be active beyond their time in the Club.
APPLY NOW to be a Kids Run Club Coach!
Active SWV Kids Run Club program is a 6-8 week volunteer led initiative designed for youth to develop a lasting enjoyment and understanding of exercise while learning healthy habits and confidence in their abilities. Kids Run Clubs are completely free to students and schools, making them accessible to youth who may not have the resources to participate in other organized sports. Any student may participate, regardless of their physical activity level or experience. The Kids Run Club program is proudly represented in elementary and middle schools throughout our region.
Volunteer Coaches participate in a coaches training with an Active SWV staff member where they are equipped with a program manual full of training plans, games, stretches, and safety tips guaranteed to guide them through the whole experience. After Coaches select the practice days and times that work with their schedule, the Kids Run Club will train for 6-8 weeks and end with a celebratory Fun Run. Any interested parent, teacher, faculty, or community member can volunteer as a Coach, and no one is expected to have any prior experience coaching or running. All volunteers need to bring is a positive attitude and a desire to help kids in their community get physically active! For more information on the Kids Run Club process, take a look at the Kids Run Club Manual or email [email protected] with questions.
View an Active SWV Kids Run Club Fun Run video here.
Running is one of the most accessible sports out there. The only equipment required is running shoes, and you can do it anywhere. Plus, running promotes a healthy heart, healthy lungs, and strong muscles. Active SWV chooses running to give kids a physical activity they can take anywhere, and continue throughout their lives.
In just four short years, the energy and response generated by the Active SWV Kids Run Club Program has been nothing short of a phenomenon, involving over 2,000 kids and hundreds of volunteers each year. The program began with a pilot club at just one school in 2015. Now, Active SWV Kids Run Clubs have been at a total of 29 schools and community groups in our region.
Many Kids Run Clubs have participation numbers made up over half of eligible aged students at their schools! This demonstrates the strong need for support of the Active SWV Kids Run Club program from teachers, students, families, and the community. It’s a program that students are excited to participate in and that schools are excited to be a part of. Support Active SWV Kids Run Clubs with financial donation here.
You can support Kids Run Clubs in these other ways too:
- Talk to your child’s school principal, guidance counselor, or PE teacher about starting a Club
- Volunteer as an Active SWV Kids Run Club Coach
- Spread the word about Active SWV Kids Run Clubs
- Talk to your employer about sponsoring an Active SWV Kids Run Club
- Donate to Active SWV Kids Run Clubs
Active SWV is proud to have Kids Run Club locations in over 35 schools and community groups across Raleigh, Summers, Nicholas, and Fayette counties. In the second half of 2020, Active SWV announced an expansion into Kanawha and Boone counties. We are excited to continue spreading the Kids Run Club program and including schools and kids in communities within those counties as well!
“Run Club has made a huge impact on BRE (Birch River Elementary). Students and adults both benefit from the time spent together outside moving. For me, seeing the joy it brings to my coworkers has been the best part.” – Leigh Ashby, Birch River teacher and coach
“I have loved getting students active with this free program. It gets kids moving even if its only once a week. Several children have decided that they really enjoy running and participating.” – Natasha Cook, Coal City teacher, parent, and coach
“I absolutely love doing run club. Many of our participants do not get outside to play much, and adding this to their week really helps them get active. The kids always love coming!” – Margret Perdue, Coal City
“I have had the joy of doing run club at Fairdale Elementary and starting a run club at Mount Hope Christian Academy. At both school they were great successes. It is a program that I think every school should have, we even did a Fall and Spring session last year because of the intense interest. In most school the spots to be on a sports team are very slim and Run Club allows all children to become active and feel like athletes which completely changes them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen kids playing “Run Club” at recess and leading each other in stretches and activities.” – Heather Arbogast, Mt. Hope Christian teacher and coach