Saskatoon summer run clinics aim to inspire youth during coronavirus pandemic

Click to play video: 'Summer run clinic aiming to inspire youth in Saskatoon' Summer run clinic aiming to inspire youth in Saskatoon
WATCH: The Prairie Run Crew Outreach Program's summer run clinic held another session on Saturday in Saskatoon. – Aug 22, 2020

A dozen kids, varying in age, took part in a summer run clinic on Saturday morning.

It’s part of the Prairie Run Crew outreach program, where the aim is to inspire and restore through healthy living and active lifestyle.

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Co-founder Tarrant Cross-Child says this is done by loving and serving each community.

“No matter what struggles (people) may be facing, mental health, addiction, home issues, self-worth,” Cross-Child said, “we aim to inspire hope.”

The outreach program has been around for five years. Cross-Child says it all started after he overcame some hardships in his life.

“When I was struggling with my addiction and mental health, I was gifted a pair of running shoes,” Cross-Child said.

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“These shoes and being able to run helped me with my mental health and with my addiction. I have been six years sober, sharing my passion for running with others.”

Cross-Child says this mindset has improved his running when he competes in marathons.

All participants are given a pair of new sneakers.

In a normal year, the program hosts running-themed races in communities throughout the country. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s events are a little different.

Saturday’s clinic featured a number of activities and obstacles that participants were walked through with Prairie Run Crew members. The mission is simple: instill the idea that anything is possible in life.

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The clinics include roughly 30 people, including parents and team members — the number allowed as they follow COVID-19 safety protocols.

Cross-Child says watching the growth of the kids is amazing.

“We’ve had people come out to our summer clinics that have never run before,” said Cross-Child. “They learned these drills, the next thing you know they are competing in high school regionals, elementary regionals, then on to provincials.”

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For 14-year-old participant William Sawchyn, it’s a great workout that also provides a chance to interact with great team members. He, like Cross-Child, loves running.

“I think it’s a good way to keep active and make sure that you are not sitting inside doing nothing all day,” Sawchyn said.

He says he has been using the clinics as a way to train for the track season, whenever that returns.

Heather Ferguson, 11, says the best part of the event is the yoga at the end. It’s implemented as a way to rid the body of any anxiety.

Both have been to three run clinics.

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The crew shares Cross-Child’s drive and passion for running, staying healthy and being active.

They want the participants to feel a sense of accomplishment and improve their overall mental health.

Trevor Jacek said he joined the team this year because of Cross-Child’s drive and determination.

“(Cross-Child) had been running this program for a little while here,” Jacek said.

“I wanted to give Tarrant my time to help him spread his message of love for running and physical activity.”

Cross-Child says the goal is to instil the idea that kids can achieve whatever they want to in life, creating leaders.

“You are not tomorrow’s leaders, you can lead today. They can lead today by inspiring.”

Cross-Child says there will likely be more clinics this fall in Saskatoon.

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