Kids Run RVA Profiles: Meet Craig Dupont, Veteran Kids Run RVA Coach
By: Chaz Coleman, Kids Run RVA Program Manager
Before the end of the fall running season, veteran Kids Run RVA coach Craig Dupont sat down with us to discuss his time at Overby-Sheppard Elementary School. He is a fifth-year Head Coach and credits returning students for the success of the program. “We seem to grow each year with a lot of returning students,” Dupont said. “So it’s been great first five years!”
As an experienced coach, Craig does have some advice for the newer coaches. “It is all about advertising run clubs and getting it out to your kids. Especially, if you are the Physical Education teacher at that school,” Dupont explained. “I often ask the children to try and recruit one of their friends to join. They are more likely to come if they have a running buddy.”
Read the rest of our interview with Coach Craig below:
Chaz Coleman: Why do you coach Kids Run?
Craig Dupont: I want to get the kids more involved. Get their day started off right. Increase their activity because I know a lot of them may not get to do it at home. I want to get them excited about exercising and running. Trying to get them to understand that there are many ways they can get their bodies moving other than running.
CC: Did you have a mentor/coach in your life that helped you out earlier on in your life?
CD: I had a middle school track coach who was a great influence on me as a kid. She was one of those teachers that got everyone involved and always stayed positive and motivated. That started off my interest in fitness and exercise.
CC: What are the traits that define or make you who you are?
CD: I’m a very helpful, genuine, and energetic person! When it comes to my students I want to be there for them. I try to be hard on them but also let them know that I care about them.
CC: What is the best vacation that you’ve been on?
CC: What advice do you have for kids who are struggling in school or run club?
CD: They should try finding something that excites and motivates them. Find a strength because everyone has some type of strength. Instead of always being upset or focusing on something that you are struggling with, they should try to focus on a strength to increase their self esteem and find something that really interests them.
CC: If you could learn something new, what would it be?
CD: It would be to play the guitar and to learn a language; preferably Spanish or French. Spanish because it is very universal and would be beneficial. French because my father spoke French but didn’t teach it to me, so it is something I wish I learned as a child.
CC: If you had 30 minutes free time, what would you do?
CD: I would just spend time with family and friends hanging out and relaxing around a fire.
CC: What advice would you give to the 13-year-old you?
CD: Being more dedicated to things that I was interested in. I found a lot of interest in different things, but I never stuck truly with one thing. I think I would have worked harder at the things I had a strong interest in.
CC: Last question. What age did you become an adult?
CD: I don’t know if I could really put an age on it. I think it is a process that continues depending on the different things that happen in your life. The birth of my daughter, death of family members, etc. makes you appreciate things and grow up quick.