More than a fun run
By Jo Ryder on 5th November 2020 Reflections
It's not just about the race or the results.
"We value and recognise tamariki that show manaakitanga: supporting and respecting others and a positive attitude” says School Community Officer Constable Jo Ryder.
With the help of local community members and Police colleagues, Jo organised a fun run for the local Kāpiti-Mana schools. Twenty-nine students representing six schools (Tairangi, Corinna, Brandon, Glenview, Cannons Creek and Te Kura Māori o Porirua) took part in the 3km run at Bothamley Park.
Vouchers were given out to the first-place getters in each category (Year 5/6 and Year 7/8); prizes were awarded for attitude and effort and there were four spot prizes so all children had a chance to be rewarded for their efforts.
The participants’ times were recorded to acknowledge their improvement over time at future events.
The fun run event is part of a wider Run Club initiative which Jo is leading with support from the local community. Building empathetic and resilient tamariki is at the heart of this and other initiatives being trialled with local schools. Students are encouraged to attend Run Club and train twice a week, building towards mid-term and end-of-term runs.
Run Club is founded on several tikanga (Māori principles) including Mahi tahi (working together, moving together, and achieving together), and Manaakitanga, which teaches participants to support one another, and increase respect for self and others. This empowers participants to believe in themselves and understand that anything is possible.
“The emphasis of Run Club is on inclusion and fun. We warm up, stretch, do some sprints, run some trails, and there are a lot of laughs and smiles. “It also improves overall hauora – our connection with the land, our taha tinana (physical wellbeing), taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing), taha whānau (social wellbeing) and taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing) says Jo, who goes on to add “It’s been great to receive support from local businesses and the community for our Run Club. Through this, we can provide quality near new (and brand new) running clothes and shoes to those that need them. Working in partnership with the local community, we can deliver better outcomes for our rangitahi and the wider community."
The programme was initially based around rangitahi but has been extended to include whānau over time, and the first community fitness club for women started recently.
The local businesses and community groups supporting the initiative:
· Chocolate Frog Cafe in Miramar – provided delicious cupcakes for students
· Tamsin Davidson, One Agency Tawa
· The Wild Things NZ Trail Running Club
· Anonymous (but still awesome) members of the running community
... and the team who made it all happen on the day:
· Principal Jason Ataera and Tairangi School for being the host and lead school
· Sharon Wray – running enthusiast and experienced race supporter
· Richard Witheford - Porirua Park Run ambassador
· Carl Ohlson – teacher at Tairangi and co-founder of Run Club
· Steve Aitken – experienced runner and recently retired Police officer of 30 years
· Constable Briony Lee, Road Policing
· Sergeant Sean Burns, Pouwhakataki MPES