Runnin’ and crunchin’ on fall leaves is on the minds of teachers and students in AMA Youth Run Clubs across across Alberta, as they gear up for a short-but-sweet fall season.

While the AMA and Ever Active Schools (our partner in the YRC) are always happy to see the number of schools and participants increase, our focus has turned toward providing program offerings that support the inclusivity of the Youth Run Club. That is, programming that enables clubs to meet the needs of students of all abilities, by offering adapted activities, made available in a welcoming, inclusive environment. 

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The AMA YRC is developing tips for coaches on creating an adaptive environment (Photo credit: Kayli McClelland, EAS)

In support of this new Inclusivity Strategy, Ever Active Schools is developing an online learning module for coaches that will include the EAS Adapted Physical Activity resources and other guidance, such as tips for coaches on creating an adaptive environment, how to modify run routes, etc.

In conjunction with educators, administrators and community partners, including the Paralympic Sports Association, EAS is developing adapted physical activity learning tools and resources to assist Youth Run Club coaches. One such foundational program already in schools, that the YRC can build on, is EAS’s and the PSA’s adapted physical activity mentorship program.

Along with efforts to open the Youth Run Club up to kids of all abilities, this 7th season will see continued development of other health equity initiatives, such as the GO! (Girls Only!) Run Clubs and Indigenous school communities.  

AMA Youth Run Club sponsors

Since it began in 2013, with 4,000 kids and 77 schools, the AMA Youth Run Club has been steadily growing in participant numbers and expanding its program offerings. The impressive growth of this school-based, inclusive health and physical activity initiative would not be possible without the support of generous program sponsors: Alberta Blue Cross (gold); MD Financial Management (silver); and Canadian Tire Jumpstart and Fast Trax Run & Ski Shop (in-kind).   

2016 video: Comprehensive School Health and the AMA Youth Run Club