Active Southern West Virginia partners with Valley Elementary School, VES, once again to demonstrate how fun and rewarding school running clubs can be. With faculty support, VES has completed the second semester of the Active SWV Kids Run Club. For 6 weeks students have stayed after school for snacks, warm up, sprint games, running tips, distance running, and stretching all led by faculty and parent volunteers. Active SWV provides the coaches manual, coaches training, and race day support.
At the beginning of each run club, Principal Harrah facilitates the students with team rules and goals. Respect, courtesy to others, following rules, encouraging teammates, and trying their hardest all incorporate into the mission of run club. Fostering a positive and fun experience with running can lead to a lifestyle habit to continue beyond run club.
Grades kindergarten to 5th grade participated in the running club and race day. Students were divided into two groups to take turns running the one mile distance.
As the younger kids went first, the older students cheered them on through the track. Then roles reversed and the younger kids scattered to all corners of the track to high five and cheer on the older runners.
Coaches and parents were along the track to provide encouragement with some jumping in to run with their kids!
Principal Harrah passed out high fives and received a few!
The New River Health Clinic offers school based health support to VES and joined our efforts by taking health measurements before and after the running club. Nurses were onsite each day of the run club and race day to cheer on the kids.
As kids finished their last laps, faster finishers went back to run with and cheer their peers on to the finish line. The social support from peers, faculty, and parents boosted each runner to push themselves and be proud of working hard. Each runner completed the one mile race and was presented with a finishers medal from Principal Harrah.
If you’d like to start an Active SWV Kids Running Club at your school next fall, rally your staff together and call us up! As you can see, a successful club requires commitment from school staff and PTO. The Active SWV Kids Run manual and coaches training is provided to any school interested in starting a club.
Our goal is to impact the negative health outcomes that have blighted our region for too long by starting with the kids; fostering in them a habit and the skills needed to maintain a physically active lifestyle. The ultimate goal is that they can involve someone at home in their training and teach a parent, sibling, grandparent, guardian etc. the things they’ve learned at run club so that the impact can grow to reach families and entire communities.
Great job Valley Elementary School!