Hitting the ground running

AMA Youth Run Club

Dr. Kimberley P. Kelly helped to develop the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) Youth Run Club.

This pilot project, a partnership between the AMA and Ever Active Schools, aims to help educate Alberta's school-aged kids on the importance of regular physical activity as part of healthy living. 

Childhood obesity is increasing and I wanted to act locally and affect positive change. I wasn’t sure where to start, so I began doing some research to get ideas about programs or initiatives focused on getting kids active.

Dr. Kelly (R) and Alexander Scrimger participate in the AMA Youth Run ClubAccording to the Canadian Health Measures Survey only 5% of five to 17 year olds in Canada meet the Canadian Physician Activity Guidelines for Children and Youth, which require at least 60 minutes of daily moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity.

Dr. Kimberley P. Kelly, a family physician and member of the Alberta Medical Association’s (AMA's) Health Issues Council, knew the statistics and wanted to do something to address childhood obesity.

Acting locally on childhood obesity

“Childhood obesity is increasing and I wanted to act locally and affect positive change,” said Dr. Kelly. “I wasn’t sure where to start, so I began doing some research to get ideas about programs or initiatives focused on getting kids active. That’s how I came across Ever Active Schools.”

Ever Active Schools is a program that encourages Alberta students to live, learn and play in healthy active school communities. Dr. Kelly looked through their website and thought this would be a perfect way to start.

Helping kids to stay active and healthy

Children participate in the AMA Youth Run ClubIn May 2012, with the support of the principal, some teachers and other interested parents, Dr. Kelly started a health and wellness team at her sons’ school.

One of the initiatives implemented, as part of the Ever Active Schools’ program, was a youth run club. This run club has operated in the fall and spring and has been a big success!

“After my involvement in the run program, I hoped similar run clubs could be initiated at other schools across the province,” said Dr. Kelly.

“The Alberta Medical Association has always been an advocate for healthy living, so I brought forward the idea of supporting Ever Active Schools to the Health Issues Council. A partnership with Ever Active Schools was formed and a collaborative youth run program was created!”

The AMA Youth Run Club is a pilot project that aims to help educate Alberta's school-aged kids on the importance of regular physical activity as part of healthy living. (The AMA Youth Run Club rolled out to schools in spring 2013 and is a partnership between the AMA and Ever Active Schools.)

“The AMA Youth Run Club is a great opportunity for physicians to get involved in their communities and support grassroots prevention,” said Dr. Kelly. “It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. Physician leadership at a local level can significantly improve the health of our school communities and in my experience is extremely rewarding.”

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.