Torrington KidsMarathon teaches fitness while having fun

Torrington KidsMarathon teaches fitness while having fun

TORRINGTON — For practically ten years, Tim Gaffney has collected learners from all-around Litchfield County to participate in Ron Dixon’s KidsMarathon, a conditioning obstacle for grade-schoolers.

This yr, Gaffney is anticipating yet another huge group of students and their mentors to attend the party, now known as the Torrington Youngsters Marathon and established for June 4 at Torrington Higher Faculty.

The objective of the Torrington KidsMarathon is to aid overcome childhood weight problems in little ones underneath the age of 12. “Receiving and holding our small children bodily match has been the intention of Little ones Marathon considering the fact that Dixon started off the application virtually two many years in the past,” Gaffney explained. “It has developed in the United States and worldwide ever since.”

The KidsMarathon product is an 8- to 12-7 days, in-faculty functioning and nourishment education program that makes it possible for small children to comprehensive a whole marathon, 26.2 miles, by jogging roughly 3 miles each individual 7 days. Faculties get a packet of facts describing the method and inviting students to signal up. 

Alongside with young children from Torrington’s Forbes, Vogel Wetmore, Torringford and Southwest elementary universities, this year’s contributors involve grade-college college students from Location 20, formerly Region 6 and Litchfield general public schools Northwest Region 7, which features the cities of Barkhamsted, Colebrook, New Hartford and Norfolk and North Canaan. 

Gaffney, a longtime sporting activities reporter and proprietor and founder of Litchfield County Sports activities, a magazine and web site, covered the KidsMarathon as a reporter and acquired involved as a volunteer when the event was held in Litchfield and was overseen by Dixon.

The celebration grew, and inevitably moved to Torrington in 2017. But for the duration of the pandemic, Dixon, a resident of New Zealand, could not vacation the 2020 occasion was canceled. 

“He obtained trapped at house in New Zealand,” Gaffney mentioned. “Ron’s a great friend, and we worked so nicely together. So when he could not get here to do the KidsMarathon, he wanted me to do it. I reported, if I do, I have to do it my personal way. He agreed, and which is how it is really been at any time due to the fact.”

His “individual way” is just an growth of the exercise program, to include things like as several children as doable. Past 12 months, Gaffney estimated that much more than 3,000 youngsters participated. The elevated participation led to a require for a lot more pupil mentors fortuitously, Gaffney had no issues obtaining more young folks to mentor the youngsters. His connections as a sports activities writer, and by way of Litchfield County Sporting activities, offered a good deal of candidates. 

“The mentoring program is receiving superior ever calendar year,” he claimed. “We have athletes that presently graduated from Torrington Superior University, who appear again and work with the young children. They appreciate it. It’s just a great experience for all of them.”

College student mentors frequently are baseball, basketball or track athletes at THS, and they signal up for a crew and do the job with them, doing routines, chatting about healthful consuming and very similar subjects, he claimed. Other mentors hail from Northwest Region 7 and the Forman School in Litchfield. 

“This 12 months, we resolved to choose the mentor teams to just about every grammar college that experienced signed up. At Southwest a couple of months in the past, we had 300 youngsters waiting around for us in the gymnasium,” Gaffney stated. “We went in and designed a big splash, enjoying the music from ‘Rocky’ and acquiring the children all excited.”

Just after that major entrance, Gaffney and the more mature learners converse about healthful foods and drinks, inquiring the youngsters what is greater — Gatorade or water, for case in point  —  and no matter whether a banana is a healthful food items compared to chips or a sugary snack.

“They make it into a activity, and that’s how we start out assisting them find out to make those balanced options,” Gaffney claimed.  “It really is also a way for the mentors, the older students, to discuss to the youngsters, and understand to discuss in entrance of a large viewers. From what I’ve heard, they all have enjoyment accomplishing it.”

Every 7 days all through the 12-7 days software, which started in March, the substantial college college students and graduates will stop by their university to physical exercise alongside one another, with a purpose of functioning 3 miles for every 7 days. By the stop of the system on June 4, each individual kid will full that marathon. 

In the stadium at Torrington Significant School that day, each individual school will have its possess registration table. T-shirts and medals are donated by area organizations, and volunteers help Gaffney organize the groups for the closing operate about the keep track of. 

“I cannot say plenty of about the volunteers, the youngsters, the teachers, the faculty principals, all people,” Gaffney claimed. “Every person has supported it, every single calendar year.” 

For details, go to