Registration Open For Second Annual Kids Run Club

Registration Open For Second Annual Kids Run Club
Teacher and group leader Robin Mounsteven spreaks to Kids Run Club participants. Photo courtesy of Robin Mounsteven

Registration is now open for the Port Sydney-based Kids Run Club, and it’s going to be bigger and better in its sophomore season thanks to an extended age range and a larger roster of runners.

Teacher Robin Mounsteven started the run club after seeing interest from students during recess at V.K. Greer Memorial Public School. The feedback was great after the first summer, and with a four-year-old and five-year-old at home, he understands the need for local children’s activities. When he and his wife sat down to talk about summer pastimes, they agreed that they wanted their kids to do something health-focused and outdoors, so he said the run club fit the bill for their family and hopefully will for others too. The club will offer sessions in the first two weeks of July for kids ages four to 12.

“I want to continue seeing our community strive to be healthy, and well-being is really at the forefront of what we’re doing in the school,” Mounsteven said. “We’re finding that for kids to even be able to do math or sit down and read a book or learn about the solar system, they need to be able to do that from a nourished standpoint, so well-being and taking care of kids before they even enter into the classroom is really important.”

The families at V.K. Greer and the community at large have given the club a warm reception, so he’s excited to bring it back to the trails at the school. The run club gets kids outside for one-hour sessions that start and end with group discussions during warm-up and cool-down. They talk about health and exercise as well as life skills like perseverance.

Registration Open For Second Annual Kids Run Club
Photo courtesy of Robin Mounsteven

The club costs $90 for one week or $160 for two weeks, and financial support is available if needed. Last year, Mounsteven found that many families were interested in sending sets of siblings, so he decided to increase the age range by a year to include more kids. Still, the club is open to children of all abilities and levels of running experience.

“We want to expand and bring back some of those 11-year-olds last year who know the program, who are familiar with the trail system, who can guide some of our younger runners through,” he said, “and so we have opened it up to the 12-year-olds as well.”

The Mary Lake Marathon, a fundraiser founded by Mounsteven in 2021, is presenting the run club. In its first year, the marathon raised over $27,000 for a local girl facing surgery. The next year, the event raised $6,000 for the kindergarten playground at V.K. Greer.

The money allowed staff to purchase four pieces of playground equipment. Since the run club meets at the school, families pass by them at the beginning and end of each session.

“I know that there’s going to be parents who are stopping off with younger kids and using those different stations, so from my standpoint, that makes me super proud to be able to see my hard work come to fruition,” Mounsteven said. “Not only my hard work but the kindergarten team and people at the school board level that worked hard to make that come together.”

For the most recent marathon in November 2023, Mounsteven fundraised for the music department at the school. He teaches gym, health, drama and music, so he decided to use the fundraiser to share one of his passions with his students and raised enough to buy a class set of ukuleles. 

V.K. Greer is unique in being one of the few public schools with an orchestral band, so when money was left over, he went to the head of the music department and offered the funds to fill any gaps. They ended up purchasing eight orchestral music stands for the program.

While the Mary Lake Marathon and the Kids Run Club certainly go hand in hand, each one is an important initiative in its own right. Mounsteven hopes that the positive impact will allow each of them to grow in tandem.

“We’re going to continue with both of them,” he said. “I love to see both of them flourishing in their own respects, but expanding them to include more people from the community from year to year is always our objective.”

To sign up a child for the Kids Run Club, click here. For updates on the Kids Run Club and the Mary Lake Marathon, visit the marathon’s Facebook page.


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