Olympic Stars Want Kids To "Run With US!"
Olympic-caliber athletes are teaming up to address the ever-growing lack of physical activity in kids’ daily lives, focusing on bringing more physical activity into classrooms with interactive gaming.
Run With US! — the track & field classroom game created in partnership with GoNoodle and the USA Track & Field Foundation — is available to every elementary teacher for free in order to help young kids get more physical activity throughout the school day.
Today, Run With US! will start its national circuit to bring real track and field stars to elementary classrooms to demonstrate the impact short bursts of desk-side activities can have on youth health and classroom engagement. As part of the launch, teachers and parents alike can enter to win a school visit from a USA track and field athlete.
“Run With US! is a unique and fun way to help kids stay active and healthy. This incredible program combines three of my passions: youth health, fitness, and track & field,” said Joanna Hayes, Gold medalist hurdler in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and one of the Run With US! virtual coaches. “I can't think of a more exciting or convenient way to put those three things together in a classroom setting.”
Run With US! is based on cutting-edge research in physical activity that shows short exposure to exercise yields meaningful improvements in energy, focus, and classroom behavior. With this in mind, Run With US! was designed to give teachers an effective way to re-engage students in a matter of minutes. Focusing gameplay to five minutes or less means it’s easy to incorporate the game into an already-packed schedule. What’s more, Run With US! can be played multiple times throughout the school day to invigorate students’ minds and engage them in core subjects like math, English, and science.
“Schools play a particularly critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors,” said Scott McQuigg, CEO of HealthTeacher, Inc. “And through our partnership with the USA Track & Field Foundation, track and field athletes are helping students get important minutes of moderate and vigorous physical activity in the classroom. Combining interactive games with health education teaches kids how to be more physically active in new and imaginative ways, and through repeated use, Run With US! can measurably help build positive lifestyle habits that extend beyond the classroom.”