Get Fit with 6: Getting kids interested in running, Without Limits Youth

Since 2012, Without Limits Youth has given kids a place to learn the many benefits of running.
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 3:46 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Since 2012, Without Limits Youth has given kids a place to learn the many benefits of running. The group meets at the track at UNCW.

“Four years ago there was no middle school cross country and now there’s 500 kids running in middle school cross country,” said Colin Hackman, Co-Founder/Director of Without Limits Youth.

Kids of all ages have different reasons for wanting to join the group.

Eva Dattilo is 14 years old but started running with her dad when she was 10.

“I think it’s a really good workout to keep in shape and like I like running and listening to music. I find it very calming. I like to just think about like why I’m running and why I want to finish and like have a goal like get the next person in front of you in a race,” said Dattilo.

12-year-old runner Hunter Morgan runs for a couple different reasons.

“It can relate to a lot of different sports, like helps me better in basketball and when I play football, and tennis and all that. When I’m done it just feels like, like more relaxed then like any time. I don’t know why but that’s just the way it is. It’s just fun especially when we do like around like the city. I like going around seeing it through that way,” said Morgan.

One of the younger runners, Mattias Garcia Billasensor, shared what he’s thinking abut when he’s running.

“I may be thinking if I don’t, if I get there last but it doesn’t matter about getting last it just matters of getting there to finish line,” said Billasensor.

He also shared how he feels after a run.

“That feels like good because that makes you like that saves you energy for your body to so you can move faster again,” he said.

For sports like football and basketball, you rely on teammates. With running, the competition starts from within before it hits the track.

“I think it’s really just like the mindset like you have to keep pushing and when you keep pushing and you get in that mindset then you’ll finish,” said Dattilo.

Running helps you build up your endurance, strengthen bones and muscle, and improves your heart health. If started at an early age, it can lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

“Most of these kids will run cross country in high school or do some sort of distance training or sprint training in high school and then they’ll never do it again. So, we’re hoping like what had happened for me when I was this age, the hook sunk. I understood that this was something I could do by myself, it’s something I can do with a group, it’s something that everybody seems to be positive, there’s a lot of encouragement,” said Hackman.

Links to the running clubs in our area with programs for children: