Pounding the Pavement with PRIDE!
Posted On:
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
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Pounding the Pavement with PRIDE is a running club established at Veterans Park School and led by Veterans Park Adjustment Counselor, Ms. Amy Harris. The focus of club is to teach the importance of health and fitness and to learn about running techniques (safety, stretching, etc.) and teamwork.

According to Harris this is the first year the running club has been offered at Veterans Park and is being sponsored by the Ludlow Elementary PTO. “Our first meeting was held on February 27th with team building activities, goal setting, safety, along with many laps around the school,” shared Harris. “Each day forward the runners increased their time spent running and in no time we ran/walked 2 miles together!”

With a proud smile, Harris added, “On March 13th, the runners completed their first run in the community;  running 2 miles throughout the Ludlow community. That was such a powerful moment for the runners to run as a group through their town and to receive a tremendous amount of encouragement from friends and teachers as they drove by.”  

"I joined the running club because I didn’t feel confident in running two or even three miles,” shared 5th grader, Audrey Sotiropoulos.  “Then running around the school a couple of times I felt like I could do anything.  That’s when I changed how I feel about running."

The running club has also been an opportunity for Ludlow staff members to begin, or continue, their running journey, as well as support the student runners.  Harris shared that Mrs. Donna Katz, LPS Occupational Therapist, as well as Mrs. Kelley Foley, Chapin Street Paraprofessional, have laced up their running shoes to run side by side with club members.

“I decided to help out with the running club because my husband runs, and I had been thinking this could be an activity that we can do together, if I could actually get motivated to gain some endurance. The running club has been the perfect incentive,” explained Katz.  “I love being a part of teaching kids healthy activities to keep their bodies strong and relieve stress. I also thought it would be helpful for Amy to have a 2nd adult with the group to run sweep. Some of the kids describe me as the "caboose," which I am happy to be!”

Everyone in the club agrees that their coach is not only an experienced runner, but is also their strongest cheerleader.  “Amy is great a coach, giving lots of kudos to the kids and I for our effort,” shared Katz. “She gently encourages us to increase our distance. Amy also teaches us to be safe, to prevent injury with pre-running warm-ups and post-run stretches, and most of all to encourage each other to do our personal best.”

Harris was very proud to share that two club members, Owen Mortimer (grade 4), and Nathan Tracy (grade 5) joined her at the Daffodil Fun Run 5k (3.1 miles) in Amherst on Sunday April 30th. “Running a 5k with my students was an amazing experience. There was a sense of accomplishment and pride as we began the race together. The students persevered through a hilly course and demonstrated such strength and focus. It was truly a memorable experience to see the progression from the first day of running in February to this challenging 5k.”


CONGRATS Owen and Nathan

Daffodil Fun Run 5k

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