Vibrant Communities In Focus
Image Credit: Dave Chidley
[Run for Life]
“We want to bring the ‘play’ back into playing sports. When we were kids, we’d just find our fun. We’d hit a tennis ball against a wall or play 500-up or run around the neighbourhood with friends. There’s not enough of that easy, casual, fun exercise anymore for kids. I worry about the gap in fitness opportunities. Sports are way too organized now, expensive, and so competitive. The kid who plays triple A hockey ends up making the school team, too, and the regular kid with average talent gets shut out. Run for Life tries to get everyone involved. If the OTF didn’t support us, we simply couldn’t get this all going in schools and neighbourhoods. Our programs are free and so many people are grateful.”
John Carson is in charge of the Run for Life programs in Cambridge. There are adult programs, with 10K and half-marathon runs, and there’s an after-school program called Run and Read, which combines running games with reading circles. But his favourite is The Kilometre Club.
“Every kid can manage to walk or run or skip a kilometre. If a kid is shy to walk or run, he can be the sticker guy. You just want the kids to show up and be a part of it. Once they come, and see the free popsicles and the prizes and the other kids, they get keen, and they get moving! I love it when you see kids and adults running together. It’s simple, basic fun and they’re getting fit and making friends.”