Huskies with Heart: Just Run fosters individual strength, teamwork

Huskies with Heart: Just Run fosters individual strength, teamwork

By Kate Augusto

All children need time to run around, said sophomores Ryan Clauson and Jacob Thaler. But Eli Wolff, from the Center for the Study of Sport in Society, said children with disabilities do not always get that chance. Two years ago, Wolff started a program called Just Run to provide such children with the opportunity to run.

Just Run, a program provided free to children, aims at strengthening the minds and bodies of children from the Boston area. The kids, usually between the ages of 10 and 15, come to Northeastern Saturday or Sunday mornings to play games and activities with Just Run volunteers, like Clauson, a theatre major, and Thaler, a supply-chain management and marketing major.

“On the surface, Just Run is about strengthening and stretching [for the kids] to get faster and quicker,” said Clauson, director of the program.”But more importantly it’s about character building so that the kids can smile and say things loudly and with more confidence. It’s great to see that aspect.”

Originally the program was started by the Center for the Study of Sport in Society with involvement from the physical therapy department. Wolff, whose background is in promoting opportunities for people with disabilities, said “there’s a lack of opportunity for kids with disabilities to [engage in] sports programs. We wanted to give them a chance to just be normal and have fun.”

The program, which was first housed in the YMCA, is in its third year. Northeastern 2006 graduate Chris Jarvis got involved with the program when he was a student and moved it from the YMCA to the Cabot gym, Wolff said. With the recent nice weather, Just Run has been taking place outdoors around campus.

Clauson became director of Just Run after Jarvis left. One of Clauson’s career goals is to be a transformational entertainer. Just Run is transformational entertainment at its finest because kids become stronger mentally and physically, but also laugh and have a great time doing it, Clauson said.

“Everything’s better and more organized

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