Pathways to School, Pathways out of Poverty: GPS Run Club
The GPS Run Club has been a staple of the school's summer camp program for years. In 2017, fellow beamer, Gabriel Ghiglione, started running back to the settlement with the students once a week. This tradition was continued by the likes of Alex Cameron and Jillian Lamb in the following years. The GPS Run Club has become a weekly treat in which staff and students can reap the rewards of community fitness.
When I first went to Global Pathways School in 2019 I was beginning my own personal fitness journey and was eager to join the club. On Wednesday's, a few staff members and a large group of energetic campers would gather outside before running a few kilometres back to the settlement.
I distinctly remember my runs because each week I would run stride for stride with a young grade 4 student named Kebi Joshua. As mine and Kebi Joshua's paths did not cross often throughout the day to day of camp, the GPS Run Club was our opportunity to spend time together. We matched our pace slow enough so we could chat throughout the run.
“I owe it to the GPS Run Club for helping foster close relationships with the campers. And that is the beauty of fitness; it's ability to embolden community.”
I learned a lot about Kebi Joshua during this time. One evening, as we were running, Kebi Joshua pointed at my feet and yelled "snake!" I let out a little shriek and frantically leaped out of the way before noticing there was no snake at all. Kebi Joshua liked to mess with me like that. I owe it to the GPS Run Club for helping foster close relationships with the campers. And that is the beauty of fitness; it's ability to embolden community.
It's been a tough year with lockdown restrictions, especially for our friends over in Chettipalyam, and the GPS Run Club has unfortunately been put on hiatus. We are hoping to bring back this incredible fitness community "virtually" while also opening it up to the public to join. However, because we believe in the strength of our community, we are setting some lofty goals.
From August 1, 2021 to March 22, 2022 the GPS Run Club hopes to virtually run the entire circumference of the planet. That's over 40,000 kilometers! This initiative will be an international effort as the students, staff, and donors can all be a part of the feat. We, (especially the students), are so excited to embark on this fitness journey. Although we aren't able to run side by side we are together in spirit and can still reap the rewards of fitness while strengthening the GPS community.
To sign up for our run club fundraiser, please visit: gpsrunclub.com