Saucony and the Saucony Run for Good Foundation are celebrating a decade of fighting childhood obesity with the announcement of a new round of grant winners.
The following organizations have been selected to receive a Saucony Run for Good Foundation grant: Brookings 100 Mile Club, Springfield, MA; Cucamonga Elementary School, Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Discovery Afternoon Running Team, Goddard, KS; Garden City Family YMCA & Dodge City Family YMCA, Garden City, KS; Inland Empire Running Club, West Covina, CA; and Youth Run NOLA, New Orleans, LA.
Saucony and its nonprofit Saucony Run for Good Foundation since 2006 have supported nationwide efforts to ensure that children in the U.S. can grow up at a healthy weight. Over the past 10 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 million dollars in grants to schools and community organizations all dedicated to preventing childhood obesity through running and proper nutrition.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in three children in America is overweight or obese, with both immediate and long-term effects on the health of our kids. A 2015 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) seeks to reverse the trend by placing greater emphasis on the prevention of childhood obesity, not just the treatment. In addition to a healthier diet, the report also stresses the importance of physical activity, recommending 60 minutes of activity daily.
“We completely agree with the new AAP guidelines of early prevention and the importance of daily physical activity, especially running, to keep children at a healthy weight,” said Richie Woodworth, president of Saucony and the Saucony Run for Good Foundation Board of Directors. “At Saucony, our brand mission is to empower the human spirit through running; more than ever, that must include our kids. As we mark the Saucony Run for Good Foundation’s 10th anniversary of fighting childhood obesity, we remain firmly committed to reversing this epidemic as we instill a passion for running in kids everywhere.”
During the month of September−National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month−Saucony and mobile fitness-tracking app RunKeeper are issuing a challenge to runners everywhere to join them in their fight against childhood obesity. The Saucony Run for Good Challenge encourages runners to turn their run into a “run for good” by running the cumulative distance of a marathon. For every 26.2 mile challenge completed and tracked by RunKeeper, Saucony will donate $26.20 (up to $100,000) to the Saucony Run for Good Foundation to further support programs that keep kids active. Runners can sign up now by visiting RunKeeper at runkeeper.com/challenge/runforgood.
“With so many schools reducing or eliminating their physical education programs due to budget cuts, all of us need to work together−families, communities and schools−to give our kids opportunities for physical activity before, during and after school,” said Susan K. Hartman, associate publisher of Runner’s World magazine and a member of the Saucony Run for Good Board of Directors. “All of us at the Saucony Run for Good Foundation hope that our ongoing commitment to this national effort continues to make a difference in the lives of our children.”
For further information about the Saucony Run for Good Foundation, including how to apply for a grant, and to learn more about The Saucony Run for Good Challenge, please visit saucony.com/runforgood.
The following organizations have been selected to receive a Saucony Run for Good Foundation grant:
- Brookings 100 Mile Club, Springfield, MA: The Brookings School in Springfield has a student population that is 98% below the poverty line. The school was hit by a tornado in 2011 and all the students were displaced into modular buildings. Today, the school’s been rebuilt and the 100 Mile Club was started to increase school attendance and physical fitness. Kids at the school now begin their day on “the right foot,” literally, tying up their sneakers and enjoying a morning run. The SRFG grant supports 300 participants in the club by providing running shoes to every participant who reaches 100 miles. (http://www.springfieldpublicschools.com/schools/brookings)
- Cucamonga Elementary School, Rancho Cucamonga, CA: In order to fully utilize a new school fitness trail, the Cucamonga Elementary School is encouraging students to get moving with the Cucamonga Running Club’s morning running program. The program keeps track of students’ running progress through a student lap tracker system (an I.D. card with a barcode that is scanned each time a student completes a lap). After reaching a certain number of miles, students receive incentive tokens. Collectively as a school this year, the Cucamonga Running Club had over 440 runners, running 7,600 miles. The SRFG grant will continue to fund the club, giving even more kids an opportunity to run and improve their health for a lifetime. (https://ces-cucamonga-ca.schoolloop.com/)
- Discovery Afternoon Running Team, Goddard, KS: The overall goal of D.A.R.T. is to foster a lifelong love of running in the Discovery Intermediate School’s 5th and 6th students. The team meets twice a week after school for 35 minutes. Over a quarter of the school participates, with the goal being to complete various 5K races. The SRFG funding will allow the program to supplement and expand its effectiveness. http://discovery.goddardusd.com/
- Garden City Family YMCA & Dodge City Family YMCA, Garden City, KS: The short term goal of the program is to start a youth running club; the long term plan, with the help of the SRFG grant, is to develop the club into a sustainable youth summer track program. The program will be held in both the fall and the spring and will include both the local high school and community college as mentoring resources. At the beginning and end of the program they will offer BMI testing. Nutritionists and sports and medical experts will add additional value to the program. (http://www.dodgecityymca.org/) (http://www.gardencityymca.org/)
- Inland Empire Running Club, West Covina, CA: The Inland Empire Running Club of Chino Hills is a non-profit organization created by veteran runners, walkers, coaches and people with a mission to advance the joy of the sports of running and walking in the Inland Empire of southern California. With a SRFG grant, the IERC will establish a sustainable running club at all schools in the surrounding five school districts. Each school will establish an eight week running program for kids K-5th grade, culminating at a final celebration run. The participants will accumulate miles toward the overall goal of 26.2 miles. The club will follow the Rod Dixon KiDSMARATHON Foundation programming. (http://www.ierunningclub.com/)
- Youth Run NOLA, New Orleans, LA: Since its founding, YRNOLA has served more than 600 students at 22 school sites, run more than 20,000 miles, and logged more than 25,000 volunteer hours. YRNOLA creates and empowers a community of healthy, young leaders through running, with an intensive eight-month guided training program of twice weekly practices and monthly events overseen by teacher-coaches and volunteer running buddies.YRNOLA seeks to train teens for marathons as part of a rigorous curriculum of running milestones, wellness education, academic success, civic responsibility and leadership.
To enhance training quality and curriculum execution, the SRFG grant will provide volunteer coaches at each site with a backpack toolkit with cones, stopwatches, water bottles whistles, clipboards and the printed version of the running and leadership-development curriculum. (http://youthrunnola.org/#about)
Saucony is a division of Wolverine Worldwide.