Runners rack up paddle pops
RUNNING: IT HAS been more than a year since Monto State School began sponsoring a "Go 'N' Run” fitness program for students, and the results are remarkable.
A handful of diligent students have managed to accumulate 175 kilometres of running, with many more close behind.
Since July last year, teachers have been taking students out to run laps around the school oval for 10 minutes before class begins.
For a each lap, a student is awarded a paddle pop stick, symbolising completion of 330 metres (a lap of the oval), which is tallied up.
Principal Lisa Roach said she was proud of what the students had accomplished.
"If you consider how little time there is in those 10 minutes, the fact that some have done so well reflects on their dedication,” Mrs Roach said. "I think having it in the morning before class is good because it gets them energised.”
More than 100 students are involved with the program, which initially began with Mrs Roach's Grade 5/6 classes, but has grown to the point where all classes can get involved.
For some students, it was actually the act of earning the paddle pop sticks each lap that motivated them.
"As you can imagine, for young kids, there's that tactile sense of getting more sticks every time they finish a lap,” Mrs Roach said.
As a reward for hitting certain milestones, the school purchases badges from the Go 'N' Run organisation, with proceeds going toward the Needy Youth Ltd organisation.
These milestones start at 10km, then 25km and the upwards in increments of 25, with the potential for dedicated students to reach as high as 500km.
Of course, the achievement of breaking a milestone is not lost on them; some have said they would ask permission to run laps at lunch time when they were close to earning a badge.
Mrs Roach said she hoped the program would continue indefinitely, as it had already become a part of the school's culture.