This week, students from throughout the area reached a significant milestone as they crossed the finish line, marking the completion of their personal races as part of Marathon Club.
The students, some as young as five years old, represented 15 schools from the Limestone District School Board and the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, who completed running the total distance of a marathon (42.2 km) or a half marathon (21.1 km). The students crossed the finish line at CaraCo Home Field on Wednesday, May 22, 2o19, signalling the completion of Marathon Club.
An annual initiative that encourages physical activity among students, Marathon Club began this year in February, when students joined the club and began keeping record of their running distance and progress. Each week, the students participated in the physical activity, getting closer to achieving their personal running goal.
For Lara Paterson, physical activity specialist with Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health and the Limestone District School Board, Marathon Club is a great way for students to engage in physical activity in a fun and fulfilling way. And encouraging physical activity at an early age is key to ensuring students remain active later in life, Paterson said.
“Encouraging children to set activity goals when they are young will help them to establish a life-long habit of being active,” she explained.
The 2018 ParticipACTION Report Card gave Canadian kids a score of D+ for overall physical activity, and found that only 35 per cent of those aged five to 17 years old were getting the recommended physical activity level for their age group (60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity). It’s initiatives like Marathon Club that will help bring those scores up, Paterson expressed.
“One of the things that I love about Marathon Club is that it not only helps children strive to be physically active every day at an early age, but it also teaches them about setting and accomplishing goals” she said.
“At the end of the race, the students are excited and proud to have crossed the finish line, and that is such a rewarding feeling.”