Introducing Kids to Track and Field

image (1)Getting kids excited about fitness is not always an easy task. But with physical education classes getting pushed to the back burner, it’s more important than ever for the community to help the cause. With that in mind, we had the chance to volunteer at a gigantic effort to introduce kids to track and field in Eugene, OR.

Here’s how it worked; two local park and recreation districts (River Road Park and City of Eugene) teamed up to put on a local Hershey Track and Field meet. These brave volunteers moved waves of 4th and 5th grade elementary students through running and field events (700 kids at a time). All told, these meets gave more than 2,800 students the chance to take part in a free track meet. While it looked like absolute chaos at times, the folks at River Road and City of Eugene kept things organized, and every kid in attendance got to compete in three events each. Events included: 50 Meter Dash, 100 Meter Dash, 200 Meter Dash, 400 Meter Run, 800 Meter Run, Standing Long Jump, and Softball Throw.

The really innovative part of this program was that these meets took place during school hours. PacificSource stepped in to fund all the transportation for these students. The idea behind having the  meets during school was to ensure that all students (regardless of time, finances, or parental availability) would have the chance to participate. With City of Eugene, River Road Park, 4J Schools, Oregon Track Club, and PacificSource all working together, the meets were a giant success. These kids had the chance to compete, and learn just how fun track and field can be.

A huge thanks to the volunteers and the schools for working together. It was absolutely inspiring be there watching kids exercise, and doing so with smiles on their faces.

Related Post: How a Nonprofit Gets Kids Moving, Learning, and Leading

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