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Volunteers - Youth Programs and Events

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with NYRR Youth and Community Services. Please read through the descriptions of volunteer opportunities below and let us know which positions you are interested in by filling out the volunteer application. Please fax, mail, or e-mail (as a scanned document) the completed application along with a copy of your photo ID to:

New York Road Runners
Attn: Volunteers
156 West 56th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 646.758.9700
Fax: 917.677.8939
youthprograms@nyrr.org

Please note: Those who volunteer for the youth services arm of New York Road Runners work directly with the youth runners involved in our programs. For that reason we require all interested volunteers to complete and pass a screening process before being assigned to any roles to help secure the safety of our children.

Volunteering with NYRR Youth & Community Services

Typical volunteer opportunities include the following:

Race Buddy:

Race Buddies have a direct impact in a child’s life by running alongside and motivating a youth runner to finish a New York Road Runners race (up to a 10k). We have youth runners at a range of paces, and we will make an effort to match you with one or more runners of an appropriate pace, but please be prepared to go slower than your usual pace.

  • When: Saturday/Sunday mornings from September to June
  • Where: Throughout NYC with the most opportunities in Central Park
  • Time Commitment: 2 – 2.5 hours, scheduled on event by event basis
  • Training Commitment: Arrive at the race(s) early to be paired with a youth runner and be able to comfortably run a 12-minute mile pace for 4 miles

Youth Events Support:

Throughout the school year NYRR Youth & Community Services produces small (10 – 50 participants) and large (500 – 2,500 participants) running and fitness events. Volunteers who support these endeavors are assigned to a variety of roles, including, but not limited to, registering participants, organizing participants for their races, distributing t-shirts, water, and food to participants, cheering on and directing participants throughout the course, and managing baggage for teams. In whichever role they perform, volunteers contribute to the success of NYRR Youth & Community Services events and help coaches, parents, and children have a fun and empowering day!

  • When: Weekends and weekdays (mornings and afternoons) during the school year
  • Where: Parks, stadiums, and other facilities throughout the five boroughs
  • Time Commitment: Ranges from 1 to 9 hours, scheduled on an event by event basis
  • Training Commitment: None

Non-Running Events Support:

There are several events throughout the year to supplement or raise money for our youth programs or to honor participants and fundraisers. Those events include banquets, parties, fundraisers, and other social gatherings. Volunteers who support these endeavors are assigned to a variety of roles, including but not limited to set-up and clean-up; event check-in; selling raffle tickets; mingling; and escorting or directing attendees.

  • When: Weekends and weekdays
  • Where: Various facilities throughout the five boroughs
  • Time Commitment: Ranges from 2 - 4 hours, scheduled on an event by event basis
  • Training Commitment: None

Fitness Fair Activity Assistant:

Fitness Fair Activity Assistants have the opportunity to interact with youth throughout New York City and simultaneously experience the fun and excitement of health fairs, cultural festivals, and sports expos. Volunteers help organize running and fitness activities (such as relay races, fitness games, and obstacle courses) for the children present. The number of children varies.

  • When: Weekends and weekdays in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings
  • Where: Parks, schools, and other facilities throughout the five boroughs
  • Time Commitment: Ranges from 1 to 5 hours, scheduled on a fair by fair basis
  • Training Commitment: None required, but strongly encouraged to attend a 3-hour "After the Basics" activity training when offered.

Office Administration:

Volunteers who assist staff members in the office help improve the efficiency of programs in order to better serve our youth constituency. These volunteers work on a variety of projects such as outreach, event planning, fundraising, data entry, phone calls and faxing, assembling packets, and assisting with mailings.

  • When: Monday – Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Where: 156 West 56th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues), 3rd Floor, New York, NY, 10019
  • Time Commitment: Ranges from 2 to 5 hours, scheduled as needed
  • Training Commitment: None

Team for Kids Training Runs Support:

Adult runners around the world run with Team for Kids (TFK) to raise the vital funds for NYRR Youth Programs in underserved communities. Members run premier NYRR races, including the TCS New York City Marathon and the NYC Half-Marathon. Since 2002, TFK members have raised more than $16 million, helping to transform lives through running. TFK volunteers ensure excellent training runs by directing and cheering on team members, giving out water, and managing baggage.

  • When: Weekday evenings and weekend mornings
  • Where: Central Park and occasionally other locations throughout the five boroughs
  • Time Commitment: Ranges from 2 - 5 hours depending on the length of the run, scheduled weekly
  • Training Commitment: None

Young Runners Assistant Coach:

Young Runners motivates students of all ages to set and achieve personal fitness goals. The program is free to public schools and community centers in New York City. Participants learn to run distances from 1 to 6 miles without stopping. While intended to be physically challenging, Young Runners is designed for children of all fitness and athletic levels. Assistant Coaches help the head coach of a Young Runners team lead practices, including running alongside participants, organizing fitness games, motivating runners, and leading warm-ups, cool-downs, and stretching. Assistant Coaches share the gift of running with our Young Runners program participants and become a positive role model for the teams.

  • When: Weekdays between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Where: Public schools or parks throughout the five boroughs, placed according to your location preferences when possible
  • Time Commitment: Minimum commitment of 1 practice a week (1 – 3 hours) for the duration of the school year
  • Training Commitment: None required, but strongly encouraged to attend a 3-hour “After the Basics” activity training when offered, particularly those with little or no coaching experience


Mighty Milers Motivator:

Mighty Milers is free school- and community-based program that encourages youth participants of all fitness levels and abilities to walk or run a half-mile two to five times a week. The elementary and middle school students set and track goals, earning incentive rewards along the way. Mighty Milers Motivators assist school/community center personnel with their regular Mighty Milers sessions and special events by providing motivation and cheerleading!

  • When: Weekdays during the school year
  • Where: Public schools throughout the five boroughs
  • Time Commitment: Minimum commitment of 1 session a week (30 minutes – 2 hours) for the duration of the school year
  • Training Commitment: One initial site visit with NYRR staff and one orientation meeting at the NYRR Youth & Community Services office; volunteers are also strongly encouraged to attend one of our monthly webinar trainings when offered

Youth and Schools