Run Clubs


Tennessee Department of Health Youth Run Clubs

A run club is a community or school-based physical activity opportunity that allows a young person to see their progress over time through better run/walk times or longer distances. Run clubs will turn no student away and are open to any school age student interested, regardless of athletic ability. There will be opportunities for graduated competition in a peer environment that is supported by adult supervisors. Each run club has a coach/mentor with organized practice times and periodic event opportunities. Run clubs typically take place on school grounds before or after the school day as part of a before or after-school club or childcare program. There are also currently twelve Tennessee State Parks that sponsor run clubs working closely with schools in their surrounding counties. Activities may include walking, jogging or running around school grounds on a walking track, competition track, athletic field, green space or another location like state parks. Run club provides opportunities for students to be physical active as part of a goal to reach at least 60-minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity. Remember, active families are healthy families and family members are encouraged to support their student to take an active part in run club. If you want to learn more about a run club near you or how to start a new run club at your school, contact your local or regional health department.

Testimonials from School Staff

“This grant has allowed our team(s) to encourage kids to continue running out of season and hopefully for a lifetime.”

“Several parents have become involved in supporting the run club. Many parents stay the entire length of the practices, helping to supervise the students. Parents have also been immensely helpful in distributing necessary equipment, documents, and other information to students and other parents.”

“The Run Clubs give students a chance to participate in something that does not cost them anything but time and dedication. The Run Clubs also gives some students an opportunity to be a part of a team that would otherwise not have that opportunity.”

“It has been fun to see the kids that would otherwise never interact be on this team together. They have supported each other and have enjoyed their time together. We have had several kids join that do not typically participate in any school activities and especially athletics. It is great to see these kids interacting and having fun outside of school.”

“Some kids don't even realize how much fun they can have outside because they never try.”

“The runners still talk about how much fun practice was. The Run Club has taught me to have more fun with practices. Most kids in public school sit a majority of the day. More now than ever in school, the students are taking tests whether it is a benchmark, TCAP, writing assessments and others. A lot of children are dealing with stress and anxiety because of the pressure they feel at school. We are trying to make it more of a priority to show these children that running can be fun and a great way to relieve the stress they are feeling at school.”

“We had a great time this season in running club. The kids enjoyed going to the parks and competing on different courses. They also enjoyed meeting the kids from the other schools and running with them. The events were very comfortable and fun for the coaches and the kids. Some of the parents took advantage of being at the parks and made a day of it with their families.”

“The Run Club has shown many children that running is fun. We have tried to show by running with them that running or walking is an activity that you can do all through your life.”