Monday, 22 August 2016

Spotlight- Derek Hateley Race Director

Many of the Kids Run Free's Race Directors have found success by taking their passion for running and  turning it into a fun filled rewarding volunteer role. The unpredictable weather, and time commitment involved could be seen as an obstacle to volunteering but for most of those who have given their time to Kids Run Free it has been a really positive experience, a way to give back and inspire youngsters to become healthier and fitter, and for some children to discover a love of running which will last into adulthood. Knowing they are making a difference by passing on something they love to the next generation makes it all worthwhile.
This month we would love to put the spotlight on Derek Hateley, one or our longest serving,  and most successful Race Directors. He has consistently increased attendance at his Coventry Memorial Park location from its launch in 2012 and has made it one of the most popular community fun events for children in the area.
Why Kids Run Free?
My own kids have been doings Kids Run Free since they could pretty much walk and run, so it’s a great thing to give something back.  For kids it’s a great way for them to get involved in running and athletics.

What do you think is behind the success of your event?

I always try to make the event feel like something that the grown-ups do. A lot of the kids have parents that run, and kids always want to do what their Moms and Dads do.
But make it as fun as possible.  Our biggest age group is 3-5 year olds, so the warm ups always include some spinning around.
Always make sure I’m nice and quiet when starting the 0-2 year old race.  I remember from my own kids, they don’t want some scary bloke shouting “Are you ready” before the race.  The older ones love it and it’s part of the game that they always have to be asked twice and they then yell at the top of their voices that they are.
And I think because the parents know we’ll be there come rain or shine they make the effort to bring the kids along.


What kind of relationship do you have with the parents and children?
The kids are great.  They just want to run.  The parents are great too.  They’re understanding and help out if we’re a bit short of helpers.

Do you have reliable volunteers supporting you?

Volunteers are always a bit hit and miss. Dianne has been for a few events now, so she is a great help.  The parents are great when we are a bit thin on the ground.  They help with the elastic bands and counting the laps.

What gets you up in the morning? (at a Kids Run Free event)

Knowing that there will be a group of kids that what to kick start their weekend with a run, whatever the weather.


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