Coach's zone

Kids Run Club

Coach's zone

Each year, Kids Run Club coaches, teachers, parents and volunteers help more than 17,000 kids across Nova Scotia get running. For many schools, the Kids Run Club is a key element in achieving a school culture of participation and physical activity.

Who are Kids Run Club coaches?

Kids Run Club coaches can be physical education teachers, classroom teachers, principals, parents, community members and/or peer leaders.

Can I be a coach if I'm not a runner?

Great coaches are energetic, enthusiastic and encourage their runners to try hard and have fun. Although having coaches who run with participants is important to ensure safety, particularly for elementary groups, having walking coaches is also important for encouraging and supervising slower participants.

Getting started

Doctors Nova Scotia is here to help coaches get their Kids Run Club started on the right foot. Kids Run Club includes program supports and incentives for coaches and participants, free of charge.

The start date and program duration depends on whether you’re training for a specific running event and the distance of that event, the availability of coaches, and how often your group runs together.

The length of the program can range from 7 weeks to several months. Most schools training for spring fun runs start their running programs at least 8 weeks before the event. 

The main training programs (2.1 and 4.2 km) consist of 14 runs, including a final fun run. If you plan on having one group run per week, you'll need to start 14 weeks before the date of the fun run. Running twice per week is ideal.

If winter conditions limit outside running, start early with indoor circuit training.

Tips for making Kids Run Club fun

  • Incorporate games, relay races and varied running routes
  • Use fun ways to track laps and/or distance, such as popsicle sticks
  • Plan a final fun run or event for your club, either at the school or in the community
  • Use participation prizes whenever possible to reward participation
  • Celebrate every milestone, big and small, with achievement certificates, group or school announcements, and individual feedback

Tips for running through bad weather

Winter can present challenges to KRC schools that start early in the new year. Here are some ideas to help you get your students moving no matter the weather. Get some pre-season fitness training done with indoor activities and make the best of snowy conditions with these tips.

  • Start your run season indoors with fitness activities and games. Check out the KRC Coach’s Handbook circuit training and running games sections.
  • Keep indoor running fun:
    • Limit lap running in the gym to 15 to 20 minutes. Play music and switch direction every three to five minutes.
    • Run in the halls! If you run after school and have support from your principal, running the halls and stairwells is a lot of fun and your students will probably be more motivated to run than doing laps in the gym.
    • Obstacle courses are fun ways to get your students running indoors. By using several starting lines along the course, you can have multiple students going at once.
  • Winter outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, hiking, sledding and fort-building are also options for keeping your kids moving outdoors.

For more tips on safety, recruiting participants and teaching running technique, download the Coach's Handbook.

Modified Kids Run Club

Implementing Kids Run Club (KRC) as an extra-curricular program may not always be possible, so Doctors Nova Scotia has designed three programs that combine shorter runs done during recess or class time with longer “homework” runs. These adapted programs are still considered part of the KRC and are supported by KRC resources, including handbooks, runner’s logs, finisher’s prizes and visits from program representatives, who can facilitate running clinics or healthy living presentations.

Tailoring for grade level

The Kids Run Club encourages participation from all grade levels, but the program requires adjustments based on the age and fitness level of each group. Check the Coach’s Handbook for ideas on how to tailor the program for your participants.

Book a school visit today

KRC has three program representatives supporting schools and groups from Yarmouth to Sydney. They can help coaches tailor the program, promote participation at school assemblies, motivate participants and provide running clinics. 

Register today and share your run day and time so we can book a visit. We are available to facilitate running clinics, give healthy living presentations, or meet with coaches to discuss how to optimize the Kids Run Club for your school.

More resources

We’re happy to provide a number of resources that can help make your KRC a success. 

  • Coaches can personalize this form letter (English and French); it helps help make implementation easy and ensures parents are kept informed.
  • Our downloadable Runner’s Handbook (English and French); includes training guides, tips for running, stretching exercises and information on healthy.
  • All participants receive a running log, which includes training programs, information on running technique and tips for success. Tracking your runs is a great way to keep you engaged and motivated throughout your training. Being able to see your progress as you move through your program will not only keep you from getting discouraged after a difficult run, but will also help you to build momentum over time, which is key to successful training.
  • The Healthy Living Challenge (English and French); (HLC) is a five-day challenge that encourages participants to be active, eat well and reduce their screen time. It can be used in conjunction with KRC or as a classroom activity. Although the HLC can be used with learners of all ages, it may be most suitable for middle to senior elementary students (grades two to six).
  • Rewarding participants for their hard work and training is key to ensuring they get the most of the program and return the following year. Doctors Nova Scotia has designed a Certificate of Achievement (English and French)  for coaches to present to their Kids’ Run Club members at the end of the season. 2017-18 certificates will be available in early 2018.
  • All Kids Run Club participants receive a finisher's prize in recognition for completing the program. Last year, more than 15,000 drawstring bags were distributed across the province. Prizes for this year's participants will be available in April 2018.

Tweet us!

If you’re on Twitter, be sure to follow @KidsRunClub_DNS – we’d love to see you tweet updates and photos of your Kids Run Club. 


Kerry Copeland
Kids Run Club Coordinator
1-800-563-3427 ext. 4908

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