One of the most popular subjects that pops up on the TRC Twitter feed is to do with school run clubs. Either for staff or pupils. So below we have put together a few things to consider when thinking about starting a run club in your school.
- Make it accessible, flexible & fun
- Pick a day after school that isn’t already busy with meetings or other clubs.
- Short and local is fine, you don’t need to go far or fast.
- Think about who your lead runner is:
- If it’s a Couch to 5k, you might want to try approaching someone who will be starting the journey with everyone, not a drill sergeant.
- If you’re working with a group of people who already run, you may need someone who has a Leadership in Running Fitness qualification.
- If it’s for pupils, then you want someone who is going to make running fun and enjoyable. No one wants to be running laps of the field for an hour after school.
- You don’t need high numbers to start
- You don’t even need anyone to sign up to start, just by getting out yourself at the same time each week and talking to colleagues about it, you will begin to build interest.
- Try starting it off as a walking group or possibly a run meeting. Something to get the ball rolling and help others realise it’s possible for them to access.
- A way to increase numbers if you are hoping to attract parents/carers is to run your club alongside a sports or arts after school club available to the children. This will at least help to alleviate the barrier of childcare for some.
- If you have a cub that you know a lot of parents/carers stick around for already, approach them and see if they would be interested. It might be exactly what they want, or they might surprise you and want something different, like a dance session or Get Back into Netball…
- Work with your community
- Reach out to your local Parkrun, they may be happy to come down and speak with your staff about Parkrun and how they can get involved.
- If you’re looking at a club for your children, speak to your local Junior Parkrun as they may even be willing to help you get the ball rolling by supporting a school fun run.
- You can then share all the information on your local event with parents/carers whilst it’s fresh in their heads. (Go one better and invite the families to take part in the school fun run too)
- Lastly, let your community and other local schools know that you are starting a run group, you might find yourself a few extra members to join your weekly sessions.
- Run it all as one club
- Children and staff taking part in the same club won’t work with many sports, but it could in this instance.
- Team goals and games can work well:
- Distance targets to cover as a team over a number of weeks
- Relay games
- Team running activities (take the focus away from conventional running)
- For staff, knowing they are working alongside their pupils can help to act as an incentive to hold them to an active commitment. And for pupils, the chance to be active with their teachers will help to motivate and inspire them to take part as well as.
- Have an aim, goal or purpose
- Whether it’s as a group, or individually, we stay motivated for longer if there is some sort of aim on top of keeping or getting fit.
- This doesn’t have to be a physical aim such as training for an event, it could be:
- Weekly scheduled time to debrief or offload with a colleague or friend.
- The activity you use to kick off the rest of your week or end your week on a high.
- Time to forget about work and just enjoy being active.
- Time outdoors with nature.
You can plan and survey colleagues for the best days and times for ever, but you won’t really know what works and what does not until you start! So don’t be afraid to make a start, if it’s at lunch time with your students or after school with your staff and community, people will come, even if they need a little nudge in the right direction.
If you think we missed anything from our top tips, or you can add any success stories from your school, let us know in the comments below.
Links that may help you out:
- Marathon kids
- Junior Parkrun
- Couch to 5k
- England Athletics Leadership in Running
- Mini London Marathon
- Nikki Love