If newly released figures from New York Road Runners are any indication, a lot of children can look forward to an active school year as they don their backpacks this fall.
According to statistics from the 2011-2012 academic year, NYRR served more than 130,000 children locally, nationally, and internationally, an increase of 30 percent over the previous year. The growth is expected to continue.
“As we have every year for more than a decade, NYRR continues to significantly increase the number of program sites and youth in our programs,” said Cliff Sperber, NYRR vice president of youth and community services. “This school year, we'll serve at least 200 more schools and 20,000 more children than last year, which will enable us to engage more than 100,000 children in New York City and more than 150,000 children throughout the U.S. in our programs.”
A closer look at the numbers:
In addition, NYRR in 2011-2012 awarded 27 summer running camp scholarships and 50 grants of $500 each to schools and non-profit organizations for putting on youth running and fitness events; and provided 310 Mighty Milers sites with 37,000 books in its Miles for Books challenge last March, during which the children ran a total of 1.2 million miles. It also launched two programs: a free high school cross country summer training program for New York City students, and “Events to Run,” five event-planning guides to help schools host their own youth running and fitness events.
“Given the country's vital need to get masses of kids running as a means of fighting obesity and promoting physical fitness, it's absolutely wonderful that we can provide such meaningful services for free, thanks to NYRR's great supporters,” said Sperber. “With their help, we're creating program, training, and motivational resources that enable schools and youth caregivers everywhere to teach running as a fulfilling sport for lifetime health and well-being.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg