Shaping the Future - One Active Child at a Time

Posted by martin.parnell |
Shaping the Future - One Active Child at a Time

On January 28th 2016, I was fortunate enough to attend the “Shaping the Future” Conference at the Delta Lodge in Kananaskis, Alberta hosted by Ever Active Schools. The objective was to bring together individuals from schools and organizations, across Alberta and beyond, to work to achieve optimal health, wellness and ideal learning environments for all students.

On the second day, a morning run was scheduled and at 6.30am a group of sleepy runners headed out into dark. We were led by Ryan Fahey, School Health Coordinator with Ever Active Schools, who handed out head lights to ensure no one got lost. Ryan explained that the run was sponsored by the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) as part of their province wide “Youth Run Club” initiative in Schools.

The footing was pretty tricky, as there had been a thaw freeze during the night. Watching the beams from our head lights bobbing along the road, it reminded me of my night run during the 100 mile Lost Souls Ultra. All I could see was a tunnel of light and several times wondered about the shadows in the bushes. We ran out 2.5 km and on the way back I chatted with Carmichael Day Chief. Carmichael is a Physical Education teacher at Aahsaopi Elementary School in southern Alberta. The school is located 30kms south of Fort MacLeod, on the western part of the Blood Reserve, nestled among the foothills, in the Belly River valley. The school is part of the Kainai Board of Education, whose motto is “Our children are our Future”.

Later, at the AMA sponsored breakfast buffet for the runners and other delegates, Dr. Carl Nohr, President of the AMA, told the audience that the “AMA Youth Run Club” had had its launch at Belgravia school in Edmonton in 2013 and there are now over 200 schools participating province wide. I had been asked to say a few words to the group and I spoke about the importance of being active in developing a child’s physical and mental wellbeing.

After the breakfast Dr. Nohr asked me if I would join founder of the Running Room, John Stanton, and Canadian triathlete, Paula Findlay, to become an Ambassador for the AMA Youth Run Club. I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. Later, I again met up with Carmichael. He mentioned that his school was a member of the AMA Youth Run Club and invited me to come and run with his students. That is a date I plan to keep.

comments powered by Disqus