FIT’SCOOL was started by one father, Ben Ryan, who wanted to get his kids moving more and having fun with fitness. He used the oval at Virginia State School, in Brisbane’s northern suburbs, after school and he and his three kids would run, jump, race and play games. His goal was simple – keep them moving for an hour.
Pretty soon, Ben’s three sons were joined by a few of their friends. Within weeks more than 50 kids were turning up to run with Ben and his boys!
Ben realised one simple truth – that all kids are keen to run around and be active, they just need to be organised, and so Ben’s Running Club was born. Today we call Ben’s Running Club the FIT’SCOOL program.
The best part of all was that Ben’s Running Club required no expensive equipment and so it didn’t cost parents anything at all. Pretty soon word got out and more than 80 kids were turning up every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for an hour of fun physical activity in a non-competitive environment.
“When you make it fun and non-competitive, kids can’t get there fast enough,” Ben says. “Since Adam was a boy kids have run around and been active. That’s still true today, but their opportunities are far more limited with so many scheduled, after-school activities, plus television iPods and XBoxes everywhere we look,” he says.
“I call this my fight against the ‘i’s, ‘x’s and TVs. And they don’t need incentives like water bottles and backpacks! They just want to run and around and be kids!” he says.