On July 14, 2018, Healthy Lifestyle for Youth team members represented HLFY at the Shoes that Inspire & YEP Olympics collaborative 5K Race at Longwood Elementary in Hayward, CA.
This was a very large event that involved three different elementary schools (Harder, Longwood, and Fairview) that took many weeks to organize and implement. Working directly with the representatives at YEP and ASICS, we were able to collect application forms from and provide brand new running shoes to 173 students.
The process of introducing the Shoes that Inspire program to the students and their families was a long and arduous process. The HLFY team attended the parent orientation at the Parent Resource Center in Hayward on June 20 and had the opportunity to directly talk about and garner interest for the Shoes that Program and distribute flyers to interested kids and their parents.
After collecting all the applications, Grace communicated directly with representatives at ASICS and was able to find common ground and negotiate a fair price point for all the shoes.
Although not the whole team was able to physically make it to the July 14 race, those that went describe the experience as an extremely exciting and rewarding experience. The event started at 10 AM and began with team members and YEP workers handing out the running shoes. After the kids tried on their shoes, they proceeded to engage in a round of dynamic warmups prior to running.
The race began around 11:30 AM and the kids were off!
This event was much larger and organized on a much larger scale than previous HLFY events. Through collaborating with YEP and the Hayward Unified School District, we were able to serve and impact much more kids than at previous races. Additionally, the families of the participants were also present at the event and many parents even ran alongside their kids to support them during the race!
The four weeks of summer training really seemed to pay off for all our participants! Not everyone was able to run the entire 3.1 mile distance, but it is obvious that every single runner ran with their heart and had the dedication and passion to finish through the finish line. Waiting at the finish line was a shiny medal and lots of support from the crowd!
All in all, this event was a successful one. Although hectic at times due to the sheer amount of people, all the participants were smiling and enjoying themselves even throughout the challenging 5K race distance. A few students did not receive their running shoes, so we will have to follow up with them and ASICS to sort it out. We hope to improve our program and continue to impact and support these students and those in other communities in the future 🙂