GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Many families in Guilford County struggle with access to fresh, nutritious foods.
It can lead to health problems years down the road.
GO FAR stands for “go out for a run.” The program is dedicated to teaching children to take control of their health through physical fitness.
During training sessions after school, Guilford County students in third, fourth and fifth grades discuss endurance, goal setting, and healthy eating.
With direction from coaches like Temika Harvey, they also train for a 5k race over ten weeks. “When they first come in they don’t know how to train. A lot of times they haven’t been running so they’re not used to it. So, just giving them the opportunity to learn healthy eating and train for a 5k is the best reward out of it,” Harvey said.
GO FAR holds two races every year.
New Executive Director Jayvon Johnson says the hope is that participation in a proper physical fitness program early on leads to a lifetime of healthy habits. “It’s all about character development. It’s all about combating obesity here in our community,” Johnson said.
“We’ve seen stories of those who are in high school now, those who in college now, who have a history of running now in their blood because of their participation in GO FAR.”
Community involvement has been vital to GO FAR’s success over the past 18 years. Grants from the High Point Community Foundation have allowed staff to continue operations during the pandemic.
Donations to the “Lace Up Program” also support students in need.
“We have young people who are running in Vans, and running in Chucks, and running in shoes with holes in them. So they are preparing for the 5k but don’t have the proper equipment,” Johnson said.
Thanks to that generosity, 19 children at Northwood Elementary School in High Point recently received a new pair of running shoes.
More than 900 runners have already signed up for GO FAR’s fall race happening on Saturday, November 13.
You can find more information— including how to register — on www.gofarclub.org.