Chicago Run: Improving youth physical fitness and emotional well-being
Alex Landberg, Deputy Director
Chicago Run began in 2008 with the mission of increasing access to physical fitness for Chicago public school students. Through their programming, participants learn the value of being active as well as the value of community.
They strive to bring the positive effects of physical activity to Chicago neighborhoods. Through sports-based development, Chicago Run is able to bridge cultural and racial divides while encouraging a lifetime of healthy habits in their community.
Alex Landberg, Deputy Director, has been with Chicago Run since 2010. He was drawn to the organization by the multitude of positive effects it has made in the community and has enjoyed being a mentor and coach to youth across the city.
While running programs are the main focus of Chicago Run, they provide more than just physical benefits for participants. Runners also are able to see themselves in a positive light and build their self-confidence.
The closerlook team spoke with Alex about the power positive identifiers can have on young people.
“By the time a lot of kids reach their middle school and high school years, unfortunately the words they use to identify themselves are a lot more negative than positive. By that age, very few teens identify themselves as an athlete.
One thing we are really trying to do as an organization is to help more young people add the label ‘athlete’ to their view of themselves. Everybody is a runner. Running is really just putting one foot in front of the other.
If we can get more young people to consider themselves runners, the likelihood that they’re going to stay active into adulthood is much higher. We are providing young people with this great tool that has so many benefits.”
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