What a difference a year makes. In the fall of 2012 five Peel Region high schools participated in CameronHelps’ Team Unbreakable Running Program pilot project. In the spring of 2014, Over 30 Halton and Peel High Schools will participate.
“We had significantly more interest in the Team Unbreakable programs this fall,” said program director John Knox. “Some schools wanted to start this fall, but there wasn’t enough preparation time for them, so they are coming on board this spring after the March Break,” said Knox.
“The program is definitely gaining momentum. There is a huge need in the schools, and the guidance counsellors, social workers, teachers and parents are all behind it. The kids love it and the testimonials from our partners in the schools show we are on the right path,” said David Harris, CEO and founder of CameronHelps, the charity that coordinates the program.
“The only thing that is delaying more rapid expansion is the funding for more Program Coordinators to support our program partners,” he added.
The high school Team Unbreakable programs are usually started by guidance counsellors or social workers who see the need for an activity that will help students to de-stress. The recreational run group, where all are welcome, typically meet twice a week after school. Students learn that running can be a good metaphor for life – you have to set goals and plan for the future but also be aware of living in the moment, said Knox. Once a week there are training tips that include coach’s tips about running, diet, stretching and the benefits of an active lifestyle.
The Fall 2013 program culminated with the first annual Unbreakable Bold and Cold 5k on December 14 starting from Heart Lake Secondary School in Brampton. Unbreakable Bold and Cold 5k participants received finishing medals and a running hat and feasted on pizza donated from sponsor Pizza Pizza after the run.