Kids Run Club

Kids’ Run Club is the new name of the Doctors Nova Scotia youth running program.

The running program, previously known as Youth Running for Fun, is now in its eighth year. It was rebranded in an effort to build on its past success and to better reflect the attitudes and interests of its participants. The new name also has a new logo.

Kids’ Run Club aims to educate children about the importance of leading a physically active and healthy life while giving them an opportunity to be active through running. Its goal is to instill the importance of regular physical activity in children so they form habits that become part of their everyday lives as adults.

The program

  • Kids’ Run Club is a free, school-based running program designed to get children and youth active.
  • Winner of the 2006 Health Promotion and Innovation Award of Excellence from the Canadian Institute of Child Health.
  • More than 15,500 kids from 215 schools across the province participated in 2010-11.
  • School groups run together one to three times a week.
  • Participants build their endurance in order to complete a final fun run of 2.1, 4.2 or 5 kilometres.
  • Doctors Nova Scotia provides all participants with a runner’s handbook when they join and a finisher’s prize at the conclusion of the program.
  • All schools receive the Coach’s Handbook and a form letter which can be altered as necessary and sent home to parents.
  • Healthy Living Challenge encourages participants to eat well, stay active, and reduce their screen time.
  • The Running log allows participants to track their progress.

The participants

  • Students in elementary, junior high and high schools across the province. Previous experience with running isn’t a prerequisite as Kids’ Run Club can be adapted in terms of the amount of walking and running done by participants.
  • Group size can range from just a few to more than 100.
  • Participants encouraged to celebrate all their hard work by taking part in a youth run such as those at the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run in Sydney or the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax.

The coaches

  • Coaches can be school staff, parents, peer leaders or community members.
  • Where the lead coach is a parent, a roster of staff volunteers can be used to reduce the staff time commitment required.
  • Number of coaches required will depend on the size of the group, the age of the participants, and the type of running route chosen.
  • It is ideal to have several adults involved to ensure safety and motivate participants.
  • School staff is encouraged to recruit parent and community volunteers.

Pros of Kids’ Run Club

  • Offered at no cost to schools or students
  • Walk/jog approach allows everyone to participate
  • Minimal preparation time; Kids’ Run Club representatives help each school tailor the program
  • Success is self-defined
  • Built-in incentives
  • Non-competitive
  • Improves school morale and teacher-student, teacher-parent relationships
  • Opportunity to involve parents
  • Can be incorporated into curriculum or done as an extracurricular program
  • No minimum or maximum number of participants required

Kerry Copeland
Kids’ Run Club coordinator
5 Spectacle Lake Drive
Dartmouth, NS
B3B 1X7