Virtual Running for Kids
MedalKids was set up due to the demand for challenges for the younger runners out there. But our aim is not to develop runners for the future, its not even really to help develop running kids. Our aim is to help children to love to be active, to explore the world around them and develop confidence through being active. It is these factors that we try to encourage through our virtual running for kids. We say running but it can be walking, riding or scooting (if that is an actual word). It is not how they do the challenges but the fact that they want to. The medals at first are the incentive that gets them active, but afterwards is the reminder that they did it, that they achieved a goal. Developing their confidence, self-efficacy and enjoyment of being active.
We under estimate the roe that experience has in our day to day life. As adults we automate so much, find ourselves on autopilot. It is only till we experience something new, good or bad, that we have to take full control. Our automation is based upon thousands of experiences that closely match what we are currently experiencing. If you drive you probably have had that feeling on regular routes, of losing track of time and then realizing you have already at your destination but cant quite remember the journey.
For kids it is different, especially very young ones. They have very few experiences to make decisions upon. Therefore they are often having to make lots of decisions which can be quite a scary thing. Imagine every day you have to learn something new, make a decision for the first time every hour, understand what the social norms are, evaluate are you safe or not and still enjoy it all. Being active and experiencing new things helps build up their self-efficacy. Virtual running allows them to achieve a goal, learn deal with the environment around them, understand more about their physical and mental strengths and build up their confidence.
So virtual running for kids is about running but more importantly it is about being a kid and exploring the world around you.