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Sports Backers Blog

Kids Run RVA - Reflecting on 2017 and Looking Ahead to 2018

Man what a year Kids Run RVA had!  In 2017, we supported 70 run clubs that got kids moving across the region, from Amelia to Henrico, Hanover to Petersburg, and everywhere in between!  As we reflect back on the year, there were so many special moments and countless people who made each of those moments possible.  Although it was hard to narrow it down, we’ve come up with our top 5 Kids Run RVA Moments of 2017.  Check them out:

  1. Presenting at the Weight of the State Conference – Back in the spring, Faith and I (your dynamic Kids Run RVA duo), had the opportunity to present to leaders from across the state about what we do here at Sports Backers. By sharing how the Kids Run RVA program works and providing practical tools that attendees could take back to their communities, we are helping to spread the joy of running and promoting an active lifestyle to youth that we would otherwise be unable to reach.
  2. Kids Run RVA supporters take on the trails of Pocahontas State Park – This year we had our first ever Kids Run RVA fundraising team – Team One Mile 2 Go – running the Ragnar Trail Richmond event on behalf of Kids Run RVA. The eight members of this team collectively raised $3,975 and kept a runner on the trails over a 24-hour period to earn each dollar raised. We are so grateful to the members of Team One Mile 2 Go for supporting Kids Run RVA in this way – it definitely goes down as one of the best moments of 2017!
  3. Whole Foods Marathon Jr. steals the show – On October 28th, over 1,000 kids converged on Byrd Park to celebrate an active lifestyle, rep their school run clubs, and earn medals as they sprinted across the finish line at the Whole Foods Marathon Jr. Kids Run RVA provided complimentary race registrations for 812 of those kiddos and covered the cost of bus transportation for many of our local run clubs to and from the event. 
  4. Coach Annette Sirica is named the Kids Run RVA Volunteer of the Year – On November 30th, we honored Coach Sirica at Sports Backers Annual End of Year Celebration. Sirica spearheads Our Lady of Lourdes’ Catholic School’s Lions Running Club, and was leading this charge long before our paths crossed with hers.  If you pull into the school parking lot on any weekday morning at 7:30am, you will see uniformed students, peewee-sized preschoolers all the way to eighth graders, getting their laps in before school. During the 2016-17 school year, this run club had 143 participants who ran a total of 12,149 laps – covering a combined 3,471 miles! Annette believes the that run club helps students begin their day with something positive and enables youngsters to come into the classroom more attentive and ready to learn. We couldn’t agree with her more and were proud to honor her ongoing commitment as a Kids Run RVA coach!
  5. Provided over 100 new pairs of running shoes to kids in need – The look on each child’s face as they laced up their shoes and took them on their first run was priceless and definitely lets us know we are doing good, meaningful work.

As you can see, 2017 was a great year for Kids Run RVA – the kids, the coaches, the volunteers, the staff, the supporters, and the events all combined to make it the best year yet. But we expect that 2018 will be all of that and more. We are gearing up for run clubs to kick back off in early February and are currently recruiting more volunteer coaches to help lead these run clubs! Click here if you are interested in becoming a run club coach. Our eyes are set on the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k and the Virginia 529 Kids Run, which are the signature running events for Kids Run RVA run clubs to participate in during the spring season. We are also excited to announce that this year we will have FOUR Kids Run RVA fundraising teams at Ragnar Trail Richmond – we can’t wait to see how these teams take on the trails of Pocahontas and raise funds to support the youth runners of our region. We know that there are many youth who have not yet experienced the joy of running and aren’t currently getting the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day, which means Kids Run RVA still has lots of work to do to in the upcoming year to reach more kids, support more coaches in their efforts, and raise the funds necessary to keep these kids and coaches running year round.