youth running program


Ready, Set, Run! is a character-building running program that trains kids ages 8-13 to participate in a 5K run. This curriculum-based program equips kids with the physical training and goal-setting mentality needed to accomplish their running goals. Issues like enhancing confidence and self-esteem, respecting authority, dealing with peer pressure and fueling their bodies through proper nutrition are covered during the 12-week program.  Above all, kids have a blast seeing what they are capable of achieving!

Ready, Set, Run! began as an idea in 2009 and much research, love and passion has been poured into getting it up and running. The response from our members has been phenomenal! We began piloting the program in Spring 2011 and have been greatly encouraged by the program’s impact thus far.  We continue to look forward to all of the lives we might have the chance to impact in the future.

The Ready, Set, Run! program is easy to implement and follow and it can be set up in nearly any community.  The program consists of 24 sessions (meeting twice a week) and culminates in a 5K run for the participants.  Many communities plan their program around an existing community 5K run so the participants have a chance to be a part of something bigger.  However, we do have programs that set up a more intimate 5K run just for their participants and this has been very well received too!

In addition to the running portion of the program, participants are challenged “outside of class” to participate in various character and community building exercises.  These are an integral part of the program as they are discussed openly amongst the participants each week.

Organizations that typically conduct the Ready, Set, Run! program include: Parks & Recreation Departments, Boys & Girls Clubs, Military Bases, Homeschool groups, youth running clubs, YMCAs, afterschool clubs and many more.

Why bring it to your community?

  • Generate revenue: NAYS charges a set amount per participant, who receives a manual, t-shirt, etc.  Youth sport program providers can charge any rate you choose.
  • Change lives: You aren’t just coordinating kids in a running program; you are changing kids’ lives! Our goal is to help kids love themselves more through accomplishing a goal and learning about the power that is within them.
  • Goodwill: With the current national focus on childhood obesity, this is a great way to get kids active AND equip them with the tools they need to stay physically and mentally healthy.
  • National ties: Your community is included in a national movement we are spearheading toward challenging kids to make healthy choices. The National Alliance for Youth Sports is America’s leading advocate for youth sports and this program is just one more offering we have to communities to accomplish our goals of providing fun, safe and positive youth sports.
  • Turn-key: Youth sport program providers are provided with a Coordinator Manual/Coach Handbook and each participant will receive a Participant Manual/Workbook that takes them through the 12-week training process.
  • Public image: This program appeals to all: media love the concept, parents love the character building and physical training and kids have a BLAST!

Take a look at our curriculum to get a better understanding of the program’s structure:

Sample lesson from the Coach's Manual

Sample page from the Participant's Workbook