Kids Challenge: Virtual Edition Provides Participants Opportunities to Get Active and Interact with Kids from Across RVA
It’s hard to believe the first-ever Kids Challenge: Virtual Edition is coming to an end. The seven weeks flew by but during that time friendships were made, exercise was top of mind, coaches coached, and kids did what they do best: acted like kids! While we may not prefer being virtual, it certainly has its advantages – one of which is removing the barriers that keep kids at different schools from meeting each other.
We get together every Wednesday for the program’s flagship activity, the Workout Wednesday Club! Kids convene from all over the region, including Amelia, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Henrico, Hopewell, and Richmond, because the Zoom Room knows no physical or geographical boundaries. It became clear early on that the kids participating loved getting to interact with one another, and a review of the meeting chat records show that this has to be the most active chat in the history of Zoom meetings! Kids are proudly repping their school, cheering each other on, and enjoying friendly banter about a wide range of topics, such as their favorite sports teams, their Halloween costumes, video games, and more. These Workout Wednesday Clubs became much more than just a good workout – they became a break from the isolation and a chance to let kids just be kids.
The themes for each week included Wacky Wednesday, Sports, 1980s/1990s, Halloween, National Candy Day, and Veterans Day. Our last theme will be in celebration of Mickey Mouse’s birthday, which happens to be on November 18th (Say what? You didn’t already know that?). The Coaches who led our Workout Wednesday Clubs truly brought each of these themes to life with hand-crafted playlists, costumes, and workouts that were built around each of the themes. Coaches also helped to bring the themes to life by creating the YouTube videos of the week that went along with the themes! Two of our favorites were the spooky Halloween Workout led by Coach Moeser and Coach Waters, and the USA Workout in honor of Veterans Day led by Coach Callan and Coach Melvin. These Coaches made sure our kids were having fun with each other while getting in their exercise for the day!
The saying “from the mouths of babes” certainly rings true at Kids Run RVA. We can tell you all the details but there is no better way than to hear it directly from the kids themselves. Here are a few of our favorite quotes pulled from the chats of some of our Workout Wednesday Clubs:
“Go Jaguars!” –Johnson Elementary
“Go Tigers!” – Amelia County Elementary
“I get energy when I drink water.” –Barack Obama Elementary
“I love burpees!” –Dupont Elementary
“I liked your clothes!” –Fox Elementary
“Football for life!!” – Marguerite Christian Elementary
“This is fun!” – Dupont Elementary
“I <3 my coach” –Enon Elementary
“bbbbbbbyyyyyyeee cool cats” –Dupont Elementary
“A very interesting…20 years.” –West End Montessori
“I have a headband and baggy pants.” – Barack Obama Elementary
“Baggy pants and neon shirt for this guy.” – West End Montessori
“Yay we did it!👍😁❤” –Laburnum Elementary
“I am a cat. Who else is a cat?” – Marguerite Christian Elementary
“I am glad to be here!” – Laburnum Elementary
“This would make an awesome game.” -West End Montessori
“I am having so much fun!!!” –Laburnum Elementary
“Can we do it again?” -Matoaca Elementary
“You are all winners!!!!” – Laburnum Elementary
“Both my grandads (were in the military). My dad’s side was in the army as an engineer and my mom’s side was a JAG in the Air Force.” – Providence Middle
Moreover, we were proud to have Damon Adinolfi, a participant in the Kids Challenge from Harrowgate Elementary, represent Kids Run RVA at the Richmond Marathon. He was chosen because he has completed every activity in the Kids Challenge: Virtual Edition and is in the lead out of over 400 kids across the region. Damon got to cheer the runners of each of the three races (Richmond Marathon, Richmond Half Marathon, and the Allianz Partners 8k) to their finish line by creating a recording that played through the RaceJoy app when they were getting close to the finish line. Click here to hear Damon cheering the runners to the finish line. He did a fantastic job representing Kids Run RVA!
It’s not just the kids that have good things to say about the Kids Challenge: Virtual Edition, either. We’ve heard from a few parents too! One parent shared, “this challenge has been a huge hit in our house. Thanks for all you guys do!” Our Coaches have taken to this new format too! Stephen Ferguson, the Health and PE teacher at Swansboro Elementary explained, “I have been following some of the activities you all have put together, and they have been some great inspiration for some things to do with my classes!” Another Coach, Beth Mayo, who teaches Health and PE at Jackson-Davis Elementary, said this while preparing to lead the Halloween Workout Wednesday Club: “I am super excited about hosting another workout on Wednesday for the Kids Run RVA crew!! It’s going to be wicked!”
As you can see, it has truly taken a village to make the Kids Challenge: Virtual Edition a success. Parents helped with logging activities, volunteer Coaches created and led the Workout Wednesday Clubs and shared the YouTube videos, Sports Backers staff coordinated the program, and Cigna provided funding and support to make the prizes possible. While we are sad to see it come to an end, we know our work is not done. The planning has already started for 2021 so stay tuned to see what we’ve got up our sleeve for the amazing kids of RVA!