Thursday, May 22, 2008

Promoting The Sport

I have been reading recent posts regarding the development/promotion of our sport at Two weeks ago my door bell rang. My nine year old cousin stood at my door and asked me a question. "Joe, how fast can you run a mile?" I mentioned that I have run a mile in the mid four minute range. He stood in front of me with his jaw open. I proceeded to ask him why he was so interested. He told me that he ran the mile in gym class today and ran a 6:40. After telling him how good that was and explaining that people have run under four minutes for the mile, he went home and never mentioned running again.

Back to the development/promotion of the sport. Many grade schools and junior highs test their kids in the mile run once a year. This is great! The bad news is that it ends once the kids finish and get their times. How many kids are we letting go by not encouraging further participation in the sport of running? If the gym coaches would either talk about or show footage of elite runners who have broken four minutes for the mile, or even the top local high school kids who are running well these kids might become encouraged to keep running.

So, if you have a relative, friend, or neighbor who has recently run the mile in gym class, encourage them to try out running as a sport. You can do this by praising how they ran the mile and asking them if they want to learn how to run faster. Teach them about the sport and how enjoyable it can be. The more youngsters we get involved in running, the more developed the sport will become in the future.

And yes, I tried very hard to encourage my cousin to take an interest in running. Unfortunately, not everyone shares my enthusiasm:)

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