Sacramento City Unified third through sixth graders ready to participate in track meets on June 5 and 7, SRA’s STRIDE program set to launch for the 2018-19 academic school year in 51 elementary schools

The Sacramento Running Association concludes its Spring Youth Fitness Program with a series of free track meets for Sacramento City Unified School District elementary students. The SRA will bus children in grades third through sixth from eight Title I schools to the meets at Luther Burbank High School on June 5 and 7.

Focusing on effort, spirit and respect, the meets encourage kids to make healthy choices for themselves and others.

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will be in attendance on June 7 to visit with the student-athletes and present awards. Local elite runners will be involved in leading the events both days.

“These meets offer a segment of our community, our youth, the opportunity to be exposed to the sport of track and field in a safe, healthy and fun environment,” SRA Executive Director Scott Abbott said. “We focus on effort, spirit and respect and encourage the kids to make the connection between fitness and fun.

“The kids are recognized for their commitment to those principles as we strive to not only teach them about the sport but also about how to be a productive and positive member of our community by making healthy choices in all facets of life.”

Student-athletes will participate in a variety of track and field events over the two days and get the chance to experience other healthy lifestyle activities, like yoga and meditation. Participants will receive school-specific shirts, achievement ribbons and a medal from the Sacramento Running Association.

Participating schools include Peter Burnett, John Bidwell, John Cabrillo, Ethel Phillips, Edward Kemble, Cesar Chavez, Pony Express and Susan B. Anthony.

SRA Kids Awards will be given out throughout the meets to student-athletes who best embody effort, spirit and respect. The SRA will also be recognizing an SRA Kids School of the Day with a special award.

The spring track meets are one aspect of the SRA Youth Fitness Program, which integrates running into local elementary schools and encourages kids to live healthy lifestyles. The first version of the program started in 1988 and has attracted more than 5,000 children annually. The SRA recently entered into a sustainable partnership with the Sacramento City Unified School District to initiate STRIDE, a district-wide youth program.

STRIDE will launch at the start of the 2018-19 academic school year and will be integrated into all 51 elementary schools in the district. 20,300 students are expected to participate in the year-long program.

Running and movement opportunities will be available a minimum of two days per week on campus at all SCUSD elementary schools during lunch recess.  All sixth graders in the district will also be given the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Days during the spring semester.

STRIDE will emphasize participation and health education in an effort to create an inclusive environment where the community’s kids make the connection between fitness and fun.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

SRA events include Gold Country Half on June 10, the Capital Cross Challenge on Sept. 29, the Run the Parkway on Nov. 4, the 36th annual California International Marathon on Dec. 2, the Super Sunday Run in February and the Credit Union SACTOWN Run in April.