It started in 2010 at Russell Public School...
When Tom Huisman approached Réjean Leblond who had been leading the track & field and cross country programs at RPS for many years. Tom's two kids were RPS students and as a former university cross country and track & field runner, he wanted to share the benefits and values inherent in running with my kids and their school friends. Following a few meetings and planning, the first season of Run Club started in the fall of 2010 providing running activities and opportunities for RPS students during recess and lunch breaks as well as an after-school component.
The program was incredibly popular and before long there was growing interest from other kids and their parents in the community. By the fall of 2014, the decision was made to expand Run Club for all kids in Russell through the Russell Community Sport Club by offering a weekly program on Saturdays through the fall. Run Club was growing. With interest and registration outpacing Tom's capacity to coach all the kids. he put a call for more volunteers in one of the local papers
Michelle Leduc saw the call for volunteers for Run Club in 2014 and decided to take a chance at coaching kids. A little intimidated at first with the challenge, she began to look forward to spending time with group every Saturday Morning in the fall and to be at the finish line cheering them at the annual Cookie Run. Run Club ran under Tom's guidance until 2018, when he and his family had the opportunity to move to beautiful Kelowna, BC. Michelle continues the program under the Russell Run Club.
She has worked to expand the program to include younger participants (Run Jump Throw) and to bring the New York Central Fitness Trail parkrun to Russell. With the connections make over the years and listening to the community, the Russell Run Club is continuing to make more programs and events available to all regardless of age or ability.