Promoting a healthy lifestyle one kilometre at a time

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

Kingston area students – from kindergarten to grade 8 – have been lacing up their running shoes for a unique challenge that not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also the importance of setting goals.

It’s a goal not many people can say they’ve achieved – running a half or full marathon.  But by the end of the day – every single one of these elementary students will have achieved just that.

It all started a few months ago. when students were issued a challenge – to walk, jog or run 21.1 or 42.2 kilometres.  This is no easy feat that’s why the contest was spread over 3 months.  It was up to the students to set goals, train and chip away at the total in hopes of making it into the marathon club.

Lauren Hoogenraad/Grade 4
“I put in lots of weeks and days of school days of running, walking, jogging a marathon and even when the weather is not cooperating.”

Mitch Ridley/Grade 6
“I’m interested in long distance running and I thought this would be a good time to practice and something cool to do in my spare time.”

Nikki Jhutti
“Every year more students lace up their sneakers to take part in the challenge. This year there’s more than 27-hundred racers representing 19 different schools.”

Runners are hitting the track for the home stretch – their final kilometre.  The challenge may be coming to an end – but educators hope this is only the beginning.

Lara Paterson/Physical Activity Specialist
“In a day and age where we’re constantly reading the statistics about children not being active enough, not meeting the physical activity guidelines, just being able to see this many students engaged. The more we can make it fun for them, the more likely they are going to be to continue it on.”

In addition to building healthy lifestyles – teachers have also noticed other benefits.

Shelley Farndon/Kindergarten Teacher
“They really find the kids more settled after they come inside. We go out after morning recess, they run for 20-minutes, they come in – we see less behaviours, the kids are quiet and more focused during their activities.”

And now that the students are on the right track when it comes to physical activity – educators say they can take what they’ve learned from this challenge and apply to future goals.  Nikki Jhutti, CKWS News Kingston.

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