Members of the Catch Me If You Can running club race at a recent practice.

Local teen starts youth running club

A Fernie youth wanted to share her love of running with others, and started a youth-focused running club last summer.

 

Georgia Fear is an avid cross-country runner and wanted to share her love of the sport with others. That was her inspiration for starting the Catch Me If You Can running club. The youth-focused club, which started last summer, got kids running, and enjoying it.

“Last year, there were 10 kids in it, five of which were related to me,” Fear said, “This year, there are 17 kids, none of which are related.”

At just 17-years-old, Fear trains full time for cross-country events in the United Kingdom, where she spends most of her time. Her mother, Kirsten Fear, grew up in Fernie, allowing for Georgia to spend ample time in Fernie.

“We have been coming to Fernie every Christmas and summer since the kids were born.  Georgia feels like Fernie is her second home,” said Kirsten.

The club’s aim is to teach kids age eight to 13 proper technique, training strategies, injury prevention, nutrition and recovery along with fostering a love for the sport. The camp, which ran from Aug. 10 to 13, started at 9 a.m. and ran until 1 p.m. The kids learned the skills through a variety of activities, including sprint races, endurance runs and fun games, like capture the flag. Kids are motivated with prizes and fun activities to keep learning and running.

While Fear charges a fee to participate in the camp, all of the proceeds go to the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation, which promotes sports for youth in the Elk Valley.

Fear will return to the United Kingdom soon, where she will continue training with the support of her coach, Ben Pochee. Pochee came from the UK to help with the camp and is proud of Fear’s initiative to share the love of running. “He is very happy about me sharing the knowledge that he taught me with other and helping children to get into the sport,” Fear said.

“My favourite part of the camp is the end of the first day and the last day. The first day is always the hardest and the children always let me know how they are feeling. The end of the first day is when they usually say they feel tired but they worked hard and feel good. The last day we have a race and the children can try out different techniques and tips I had given them during the week. It is fun seeing the kids do one hard final effort before camp is over,” she said.

Fear wants to continue to race through university and has her sights set on the Olympic Games in the future. For more information on the program and to contact Georgia Fear, email catchmeifyoucanfernie@gmail.com.