The Salt Lake City Track Club has been giving back to the running community for decades. One special way we do this is through Making Strides – a 5-week program (started in 2009) in partnership with the Sugarhouse chapter of the Boys & Girls Club that introduces kids to fitness and running. The program, which takes place in the Fall or Spring, fulfills several needs within an underserved community of kids in the 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. The training caps off with participation in the Salt City Mile held on Memorial day at Liberty Park. Kids involved in the program along with other local elementary school programs and adults are welcomed to participate in this USATF certified timed event.
Making Strides provides the 60-80 participating kids with running shoes, tech t-shirts, socks, and post-session snacks. This program benefits kids in many ways, and is only possible because volunteers like you donate your time:
- Exposure to the coolest sport on earth: running! Many of these kids discover they’re really good at running as a result of this program. Others simply learn about the importance of being active.
- Encouragement from coaches. Each group of 6-8 kids has a dedicated coach who listens to them, teaches them about all the nuances of running, and spends quality time with them. Real friendships develop between the coaches and kids.
- Exercise. The first half of the program usually involves a workshop that gets the kids warmed up (yoga, stretching, etc.). The second half involves running.