It was a day of excitement and pride as Regina’s North Central Family Centre held its annual run Saturday, celebrating the North Central neighbourhood.
The area is known for having some of the highest rates of crime and violence in the city. Events like the 5-kilometre run and walk are part of a bigger picture, a way to shift views from negative to positive.
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“So many of these kids are marginalized with things going on in the city,” North Central Family Centre founder Sandy Wankel said. “It’s really important for them to host something like this and be part of something bigger.”
Twelve years ago, the run was started as part of a crime prevention initiative with the City of Regina. Since then, it has become a way to bring families and kids together.
One of those kids is Tyneesha Eagle Child, who is an avid runner and has already completed three marathons.
“Two were in the Queen City and the one was in Las Vegas,” she said.
“It’s quite an accomplishment that maybe 2 per cent of the population has done and she’s one of them,” Wankel added.
But it wouldn’t be possible without partners like Regina Police Service and Queen City Marathon.
READ MORE: The brighter side of North Central
“What we think we can really do for the kids here at the centre is give them that family to support them, to nurture them and to help them grow into healthy adults,” Queen City Marathon race director Shawn Weimer said.
“It takes all of us working together, collaborating together, and I see so much more of that and it’s really working,” Wankel said. “More and more kids are graduating from high school and going on to post-secondary school.”
The event was also dedicated to Ivan Amichand, a co-founder of the centre who passed away from a heart attack in 2013.
“It was really pretty devastating to a lot of us. We did a mural on his behalf downstairs and we just want to keep his memory alive,” Wankel said. “He was a really great man who contributed much to the community.”
With everyone coming together the message was clear: to promote a sense of community and well-being.