Even before the sun rises, a large group of Junior School students is spending three mornings a week getting a fun fitness session in before classes begin, thanks to the Running Club.
The club is open to students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 (and parents and siblings are coming out too!) as a way to get their bodies moving first thing in the morning and to promote being healthy and active.
“The Running Club exists to give kids a chance to run in a non-competitive environment. They can just go out there and enjoy themselves and enjoy running as a whole,” says Mr. Marcelle Kitengie (a.k.a. Coach K.). “It’s really important for kids to have an outlet to be physical without it being competitive. There are kids who see competition and shy away from it, and that’s detrimental to their overall fitness. Having options like this one and our afternoon sports clubs allows them to come in, run around, be a kid, have fun, and not have to worry about scoreboards.”
There’s no attendance, there’s no required commitment, and because it’s non-competitive, Running Club allows every participant to go at their own pace and run, jog or walk as much as they want.
The Club meets at 7:45 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The typical day starts with a quick warm-up game (like tag), followed by dynamic stretches to get the legs nice and loose. Then the participants run laps around the Junior School field before finishing off with a fun cool-down and a cheer.
“We like having a community feel to what we do here. That’s why we open this up to all grades and we welcome parents – when everybody gets to do it, we get better attendance and there’s no pressure because your friends and parents are there, too!” Coach K. says.
“I like to run and I like that I get some exercise in the morning.” – Eliot, Grade 2
“I’m doing a 10K run in Vancouver called the Sun Run. I think the Running Club helps because I think I can run longer distances now. It feels good to run.” – Sierra, Grade 4
“I’m in the Running Club because I love running. I like just how it tires you out, but you still have that momentum to keep running and finish the race. My favourite part is probably just the running itself; using all your speed to finish the race and not giving up.” – by Tyson, Grade 5
“I like to run because it makes my body feel good. I like running in circles.” – by Mia, Grade 1
“I like running around in circles. I like exercises like running. I also like yoga, jumping and lifting. Running is fun.” – by Jack, Kindergarten
“This is a great opportunity to spend good time exercising with the kids and I love watching them get excited about running. We joined because it’s setting a good example of how I think we should be taking care of ourselves.” – Cara, parent of two Junior School students
(photos by Kyle Slavin)