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Sports Backers Blog

Kids On The Move: Springing into fitness

Written by: Noelle Hart

A recent study conducted by the Virginia Department of Health found that less than one quarter of children ages 6-17 participate in the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This, in part, is negatively affected by the length of recess, availability of facilities and resources, and social environments at schools. So, how can you support the facilitation of increased physical activity in Richmond’s youth? That’s where Kids On The Move comes in!

Sports Backers’ Kids Run RVA program has officially rebranded to Kids On The Move, in an effort to shift toward encouraging all types of physical activity, rather than emphasizing only running. Late December marked the end of our first official season of Kids On The Move running and fitness clubs. As we begin to transition into the new year and start to prepare for the spring season, we reflect on the exceptional four months we have had, thanks to our incredible volunteers, coaches, and students. This past fall season we supported 46 youth running and fitness clubs throughout the Richmond region!  One of the ways our program helps make these clubs possible is through conducting new coach trainings at the start of each season, providing our coaches with continual support such as mini grants and pre-season kick offs, and recruiting volunteer coaches to assist with the facilitation of clubs.

Another great way Kids On The Move is able to help support these clubs is through supplying running shoes. This fall season Kids On The Move provided 97 pairs of running shoes to kids in need, many of which were provided in-kind by Shood, a local nonprofit with a mission to make gently used, high-quality shoes available to those in need throughout Richmond, Virginia.

There was a plethora of positive and exemplary moments these past few months, but the highlight was the end-of-season race, the CarMax Tacky Light Run, which took place on December 9th. The CarMax Tacky Light Run has been a beloved holiday event for walkers, runners, and Santa-lovers in RVA for years, with dozens of homes featuring over-the-top tacky lights in the Walton Park neighborhood.

In an effort to make this event feasible for our younger Kids On The Move participants, we added the Twilight 1-Mile Kids Run. This event took place before the sun went down, to allow for a safe route for our youngsters to run, jog, walk, and enjoy the festivities. The Twilight 1-Miler course included a scenic trail through Mid-Lothian Mines Park, garnished with festive holiday décor, and concluded under an arch of artificial snow. After receiving their medals, and stopping to make a snow angel or two, families reconvened at the “North Pole” finish festival complete with cookies, holiday-inspired inflatables, and an immeasurable amount of holiday cheer. This event was an immense success, with a total of 518 Kids on The Move students participating in either the CarMax Tacky Light Run or Twilight 1-Mile Kids Run. Kids On The Move covered the race registration fees for 408 of those entries.

What Can You Look Forward to This Upcoming Spring Season?

Our clubs would not be possible without the support of our dedicated volunteers and coaches. If you, or anyone you know, are interested in helping make fitness FUN, consider applying today! The 2024 Kids On The Move Volunteer Coach Application is open through January 21st!

The Kids On The Move spring season will officially kick-off the third week of February, following our 2024 Spring Coaches Kick Off celebration on February 6th.

This year’s spring season will conclude with our Kids On The Move clubs participating in the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k presented by Kroger and the Atlantic Union Bank10k Mini on Saturday, April 20th.

We are thrilled for the spring season of Kids On The Move to kick-off, and cannot wait to see the fun begin again!

For more information about Kids On The Move and our youth fitness initiatives, click here.

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