Let Me Run Columbus helps boys learn the value of being active while offering a safe space to talk about feelings and emotions.
On Sunday, the group marked the end of its season with a 5K race.
Boys from third through eighth grade spent the last seven weeks training and on Sunday, their hard work paid off with the race. Parents and children alike said the program has made a positive impact.
The boys met with their coaches twice a week for practice, where they run and do other physical activities while also talking about how to be the best version of themselves.
Columbus race director Shruti Gupta said the goal is to help boys understand that it’s okay to be vulnerable, all while making friends and having fun.
“Some kids just enjoy the running aspect of it, just to feel like they belong to a club or organization,” Gupta said. “Some of them seriously feel like they’re in a place where they can talk about things.”
The kids were excited for their big moment Sunday, playing with friends and warming up for the big race.
“His last practice, he came home with an envelope,” said Danielle Welsh, the mother of one of the runners. “All the boys had written something that they like about the other boys, and they got to bring it home. I think that is important, especially at this age.”
“My favorite part was probably the end of the day when we got to write encouraging words about what others did,” said Joshwin Allwyn, one of the Let Me Run participants.
Both boys and parents said they would encourage others to join Let Me Run.
“It will get them better at a lot of stuff,” said participant Ollie Clark. “Like, it will have them make friends, it will have them succeed at way more things after having a workout two times a week.”
“I think he has been kinder to his peers, and we have been making better choices,” Welsh said of her son.
The fall season for Let Me Run starts in September. For more information, click here.