People who run know that exercise has numerous benefits. From body wellness to life skills of endurance and sacrifice, the list is a long one. As such, it is of great benefit if the discipline is instilled in children early in life.
Running clubs are the perfect way to do this. However, it is important to note that kids’ clubs are starkly different from those meant for adults. Kids’ running clubs not only teach them running skills, but they are an excellent place to begin teaching them values that will come in handy later in life.
The kind of staff in a kids’ running club is the most important asset. Trainers and instructors need to be as properly trained as the teachers that the children work within the school. They should be able to handle the changing emotions in kids and keep them interested in running. Basically, the following factors are necessary for a running club to be good for kids:
Proximity to the Kids’ School
In the learning age, the majority of days in each year of a kid’s life are spent in school. It is, therefore, necessary that they join clubs that are close to their school so that they can attend consistently. The club will become a sort of extension to their school education.
Includes Extra Activities
Running on itself can quickly get boring, more so for young ones. It is for this reason that a kid’s running club should be about more than just warming up and hitting the track. It should include other interesting sessions like fun games and educative sessions that touch on other things besides running instruction.
Although running requires very basic facilities, not all running clubs are well equipped. A suitable facility should have a well-fitted track, great changing areas and a place to watch races from. It should, besides being a good place to train, have safety features to protect the young runners.
As earlier mentioned, the management of a running club is an excellent part of its equipment. A good club should be grouping its training sessions into clusters rather than putting children of all ages together.
So, then, what are some of the best running clubs for kids in New Zealand?
Calliope Junior Athletics Club
This is one of the finest clubs for young children in Auckland. It takes in children as young as two all the way to fourteen-year-olds. They cluster young children into groups with three-year ranges, something that makes it easier to impart age-specific skills and drills. Two to five-year-olds have sessions running from 4:30 pm to 5:15 pm, then their older counterparts take over until 6:00 pm. The club divides its activities into seasons, another good thing as it allows members to take extended breaks during the busy periods of school. It is an affordable club with charges ranging between $60 and $100 a year.
Massey Athletic Club
Massey’s focus on junior runner programs has been its major foothold. With over 200 learners each season, this club has everything a parent would want for their junior runner.
Another fine gem in Auckland, this club uses an approach where both parents and children are involved in nurturing young runners. It encompasses a host of activities for kids of between five and thirteen-year-olds.