Let the Kids Run Free
In celebrating ten years of hosting you all at the Spur Trail Series® we continue to offer free entry to children 10 years of age or under, provided they are pre-registered for each event. This offer is not just about giving something back to the many families that have supported us over the past 10 years, it also serves to fulfil an epic vision; an army of PeeWee runners embracing the outdoors as they storm on to become the next generation of South African trail athletes!
And trust us, they are storming. During Race 3 of the recent Spur Cape Winter Trail Series® 10 year old winner of the PeeWee division, Shene du Plessis, was recalled to the overall podium as third “woman” across the line in the short course. We haven’t seen such a determined race face in years! But whether the youngsters are there to race, or simply to participate in a healthy outdoor activity, the benefits to them are endless.
As reported in a recent Discovery Health Active Kids Report Card studies show that South African children are spending an average of more than 2 hours per day behind a television or computer screen. Social media and cell phone use are also on the rise in younger children. Less than half of South African children and youth take part in organised sporting activities, with lower participation rates in girls once again highlighted. Only just over a third of children (11-13 years) in the Western Cape belonged to a sports team. Within the same report it was stated that preschool children in South Africa spend nearly three-quarters of their time in sedentary behaviour, and nearly 86% of their time indoors!
Many of you reading this are parents, and many of the Wildrunner crew are, too. So what can we do to ensure that our children grow up with a balanced, active lifestyle that sets them up for future fun living and good health? South Africa is a playground of outdoor possibilities. Our own participation in sporting activities is key, as children will learn by example, as is a gentle persuasion to participate in school sports, or simply shift the family adventures from the mall to the great outdoors.
You won’t find Wildrunner owner and founder, Owen Middleton, in the office on a Thursday morning. This is because he takes a few precious hours every week to embark on a grand adventure with his daughter, Isla. They hike, they bike, and they sail or go for beach walks. As a family, the Middletons embrace a lifestyle that centres on outdoor living.
Start with family walks, short hikes or mini-mountain missions. Grow the PeeWee army at our Spur Trail Series® events and in doing so, grow a natural love of fitness and movement in your children.
And if they are reluctant to put away the screens or get their feet dirty, turn to the great Dr Seuss for some solid kidlet inspiration:
“You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!
Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. Oh! The places you'll go!
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!”
Emma, daughter of Kim (Wildrunner’s PR consultant) on a mini mountain adventure with her friend, Rachel