Saucony marks the 15th anniversary of the brand’s Saucony Run for Good Foundation with the announcement of a new round of grant winners. Established in 2006, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million dollars in grants to 180 schools and community organizations all dedicated to preventing childhood obesity through running and proper nutrition.
The following organizations have been selected to receive a Saucony Run for Good Foundation grant:
- YMCA of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines, IA
- Trinity Boston Connects – Sole Train: Boston Runs Together, Boston, MA
- Nemours/duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE
- Girls on the Run of the Flint Hills, Mannattan, KS
- Page Alliance for Community Action, Luray, VA
- Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, Sequim, WA
According to Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), approximately 17 percent of U.S. youth have obesity, and nearly one in three children and adolescents are either overweight or have obesity. Obesity increases the risk for health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. In fact, this crisis marks the first time in our history that a generation of American children may face a shorter expected lifespan than their parents.
Research shows prevention efforts early in life reduce the risk of obesity later. A recent 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 Anne Cavassa, president of Saucony and the Saucony Run for Good Foundation Board of Directors. “Run for Good,” our brand’s call-to-action, is an invitation to people everywhere especially our children to experience the transformative power of running. As we mark the Saucony Run for Good Foundation’s 15th anniversary of fighting childhood obesity, we remain firmly committed to reversing this epidemic as we continue to instill a passion for running in kids everywhere.”
Saucony Run for Good Foundation Grant Winners and Descriptives:
YMCA of Greater Des Moines, Des Moines, IA
The YMCA of Greater Des Moines is committed to increasing the physical activity levels of central IA youth in grades 3rd through 5th by expanding their Girls on the Run program and the Stride running program for boys. Both programs not only teach running but relevant life skills as well. RFG funds will be used to support scholarships for youth-in-need, running shoes and gear, and volunteer coach recruitment and training. The grant will allow the YMCA to support 2,100 youth, including an increase of seven new run clubs.
Trinity Boston Connects – Sole Train: Boston Runs Together, Boston, MA
Sole Train: Boston Runs Together is a community-building and mentoring program at 21 Boston schools that uses running as a vehicle for setting and achieving seemingly impossible goals. Sole Train champions young people with the support of their adult mentors (Old Soles) to train twice a week during or after the school day. Ultimately, they come together for community-building events and races throughout the year, leading up to the goal race: Boston’s Run to Remember. Their goals include maintaining a strong presence at 21 sites while adding nine new schools and partner organization sites.
Nemours/duPont Hospital Dor Children, Wilmington, DE
The Weight Management Clinic at Nemours/duPont Hospital for Children is committed to finding innovative ways to improve the health and well-being of children struggling with weight and weight-related medical conditions. The hospital’s Healthy U 5K Running Club strives to overcome the barriers for these children by holding once-a-week running sessions for 10 weeks twice a year leading up to the Healthy U 5K. Understanding that patients are more successful when the entire family gets involved, the Club encourages every member of the family to participate in both the running club and running/exercising between club meetings. Patients will have a chance to earn a pair of sneakers by completing the program.
Girls on the Run Of The Flint Hills, Mannattan, KS
RFG funding will provide full program scholarships to girls in 3rd through 8th grades that come from low-income households in communities that lack access to structured, positive youth development activities. The program will combine training for a 5K race with healthy living education. The curriculum will be delivered over a 10-week period, including the end of season 5K. Every girl is required to have a Running Buddy for the 5K to ensure safety and provide encouragement.
Page Alliance for Community Action, Luray, VA
PACA is a non-profit coalition of organizations promoting the healthy and positive development of families. The coalition created a Childhood Obesity Prevention Action Plan focusing on short and long-term goals. The RFG funding will support those goals, including school running club programs; free race registration for high school students to participate in community runs; printed materials to support the local hospital’s referral system for overweight youth clients to participate in school running clubs and free running shoes for disadvantaged youth.
Boys & Girls Clubs Of The Olympic Peninsula, Sequim, WA
A fundamental pillar of the Club is “Healthy Lifestyles.” The organization’s running club gets kids outdoors participating in fun-filled physical activity as they also are taught stretching, hydration, trail safety, and “heart rate.” The RFG grant will help expand their Running Club to get more of the community’s disadvantaged youth engaged in structured running activities.
Logo courtesy Saucony