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Project Profile

Project Title:
Winona Running Club
Initiative:
School Name:
Winona Public School
School board / First Nations school jurisdiction:
Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
Project Theme:
Grade Level:
Subject Areas:
City:
Winona
Province/Territory:
Ontario
Community Partners:
Running Shack Grimsby. Instride Running Series. They will be used for coaching / motivation as needed. The biggest community members are the parents within our school community. Everyone is looking to self improve and by taking the intimidation out of running we find that we inevitably get so much support and additional members that encourage their kids by becoming role models of what our club tries to achieve.

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Winona Running Club

When working with kids we really notice how some students lack confidence towards athletics and then tend to shy away from experiences that involve sport. In order to encourage healthy choices we started a running club where kids set personal health goals and then they were supported by staff and their parents to reach set goals. We experimented with this last year and found that we not only affected the kids involved in the club but also their parents and their close friends. We are hoping to run this club again.

Update (June-21-12)

Our little running experiment was expanded this year to include multiple grades. We had so many kids wanting to run that we actually had to limit the grades involved due to the need for student / adult supervision ratio. In the end we had approximately 75 students, 9 parents, and 8 staff members running each week. Our goal was simple - to provide a risk free club where health / physical fitness was promoted by helping students reach their set goals. I am happy to report that the club is successfully meeting these goals.

Each week we have a number of students with a wide range of abilities come out and challenge themselves to run a 5 km route. The specific goal was left with each child. For some kids their goal was to run 5 km in around 22 minutes. A goal that left many of us breathless and a goal that encouraged us to get a parent to ride a bike each week to ensure these students safety. For other (most children) it was to simply finish the route running a little more each time. The true success of this club (in my opinion) was measured with one child that simply felt they could not do it but pushed themselves each week to finish. The overall result was an apparent increase in confidence and self esteem due to their newly found abilities.

In meeting with the kids each week they decided that this year they wanted to purchase running shirts from three different colours. We have red, blue, and purple shirts with the logo everyone agreed that we should keep. It is really neat to see the kids wear their shirts proudly not only when they run but around the school with an apparent sense of pride.

We are wrapping up the club with a final race on June 26th which we hope will promote many of the kids to keep running. For anyone that has ever experienced a real race it instills a sense of accomplishment that is contagious. We hope that many of the kids will hold onto this feeling and continue to pursue challenges that will maintain / improve their physical fitness and sense of well being.

Update (June-29-12)

Our running club wrapped up on June 26th where many students, teachers, and parents from the club participated in Grimsby's 5km Peach Bud race. It was such a positive event where the kids could challenge themselves to run the 5km route. The kids did amazing as each one of them finished the race and when asked about their experience appeared to be very proud of themselves.

We had a lot of support with this club ranging from parents riding bikes to keep up with children to the community organizers offering up guidance / discounts for the kids in our club to make it more feasible for many to attend. The race organizer had a saying " I bet you can't do just one race". We are hoping whether it be attending races or trying a new sport the children are able to retain the self esteem and confidence they attained by challenging themselves in our club and put those feelings towards other activities that promote physical fitness.

When reflecting on the success of the club one child came to mind. This particular child never ran before and actually hated running. The child came out each week and with the encouragement of the child's parents, friends, and teachers continued to put their best effort forward. Once the child saw they could actually do "this running thing" as they called it their feelings of confidence extended to other sporting activities that this child previously avoided. The overall effect was a child that felt better about themselves, demonstrated more confidence in their abilities, and beamed with feelings of being proud of themselves. There were many kids in our club with similar experiences and because of this we felt successful in achieving our clubs goals.

Our goal was simple - to help kids create a positive club where they could be supported in a non-threatening atmosphere to achieve personal goals they set for themselves. I am happy to report that the kids within this group accomplished these goals. We are all very proud of their accomplishments !