The Packet – Clarenville, NL


Colin Harris spoke to Clarenville Middle School students Tuesday morning about the importance of staying active. – Photo courtesy of The Packet

Colin Harris joked when he got to Clarenville Middle School that the persistent, 43 km/hour wind and the -15 C bite in the air Tuesday morning reminded him of his hometown, Winnipeg, Man.

It’s not the kind of weather that would make most people lace up their running shoes and go for a little jog. But, Harris isn’t most people.

The 36-year-old is running across the province to inspire kids to get outside and get active through his “ Take Me Outside” campaign.

“Canada has one of the best back yards in the world,” Harris told 400 students at the middle school. “Use it!” he urged. Harris will finish his cross-country journey in August and hopes to be sharing his mandate with schools along the way.

“I’m running across the country to let students know why I’m doing it and try to encourage them to do it too,” he told the Packet when we caught up with him at the middle school.

“It’s been in the news quite over the past year with rising rates of obesity, diabetes and general poor health amongst youth. That’s starting to correlate with the amount of time they’re sitting in front of (television, computer and cell phone) screens, sitting still.”

Harris said outdoor activity can increase academic performance, self-esteem, creativity and language skills.


After his presentation, Colin harris (left) joined a couple dozen students in a physical training session. Students, Parents, and Teachers participate in the session every seven school days – Photo courtesy of The Packet

He challenges all students, parents and teachers to get youth moving in and out of school hours, as well as using active forms of transportations – like walking or taking a bike.

Adam Mahar, a Grade 8 student, said he tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors, “But, the weather hasn’t been really good – it’s been raining.”

Mahar said he spends a couple hours a day outside biking, skiing and snowboarding, among other things.

Brianna Seward said she likes the outdoors too and enjoys road hockey.

Students at Clarenville Middle School will be tracking Harris as he makes his way across the country.

[I]Original images and article courtesy of [LINK=]The Packet[/LINK].[/I]


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