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Cape Breton schools participate in Earn Your Laces program

SYDNEY — There’s no shortage of enthusiasm among students at Mountainview Elementary as they head out each day for a run.

By LJ Grant - Cape Breton Post June 2, 2016

“I like to run. It’s fun,” said Aidan Stanwick, a Grade 4 student. “It’s a good activity.”

Grade 5 student Rebecca Morrison agreed.

“I just like the feeling of being able to go fast,” said Morrison. “I’ve always really liked running and I have no other sports to do because volleyball is over and I like to stay active.”

Fellow Grade 5 students Alicia Leguizamon and Carter Morykot listed off even more reasons why they enjoy running.

“My favourite part about it is being able to run with my friends,” said Leguizamon.

“It helps your fitness and health,” added Morykot.

Like many schools in Cape Breton, Mountainview Elementary and East Bay School (known collectively as the Mountainview East Bay Complex) participate in the Earn Your Laces program, which encourages youth to participate in run clubs at their schools. The free, school-based running program — sponsored by Doctors’ Nova Scotia, the Cape Breton Fiddlers Run and six community health boards on the island — is designed to get children and youth active. And those who complete a certain distance or number of runs earn brightly coloured laces.

The hope is that many of the students will also take part in 12th annual Cape Breton Fiddlers Youth Run, sponsored by Doctors Nova Scotia, set to take place Saturday, beginning from the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion in Sydney.

Jody MacLean, a teacher at Mountainview Elementary and one of the running coaches at the Mountainview East Bay Complex, said they have 100 per cent participation in their daily 15-minute run at 10 a.m. She said the students really enjoy the freedom of running.

“For a lot of kids it’s the first time they’ve realized there’s a sport that they can do on their own, they don’t have to be part of a team,” she said. “They’re competing with themselves so they really like that idea and they love 15 minutes of extra outside time when it’s starting to get nice out. Most kids really enjoy it.”

Many students also take part in the school’s after school run program, held for Primary to Grade 2 each Tuesday, and for Grades 3 to Grade 5 each Thursday.

“I really like the running club. I’ve been in it for two years and I like it because it’s something to do after school other than my video games,” said Grade 5 student Blake Shepherd.

MacLean said 100 of the 230 students at Mountainview Elementary and East Bay School have already registered for the youth run next month.

“This is our best turnout so far, so we’re really excited about that,” she said.

The youth run includes a 2.1-km route for elementary students, a 4.2-km route for junior high students, and the Tiny Tots Trot for preschool-aged children. For more information and to register, go online to

Youth Run set for this weekend will affect traffic

SYDNEY — Traffic will be affected this weekend, when thousands of runners hit the streets for the Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Run.

On Saturday, youth runners will depart the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion at 10 a.m. and from there, they head north on the Esplanade to Ortona Street, east to George Street, south to Dorchester Street, west to the Esplanade and then north along the Esplanade back to the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion.

As a result, the Esplanade — between Ortona Drive and Dorchester Street — will be completely closed to traffic from 9 a.m.- 12 p.m., and motorists will be reduced to one lane of traffic on both Dorchester Street and George Street during the same time period.

There will be no parking on site; participants and spectators are advised to arrive early and park as far away from the start/finish line as possible to alleviate congestion. Limited free parking is also available at CBRM waterfront parking lots.

Cape Breton Regional Police will be patrolling the route, with extra traffic detail in place. Officers and volunteer course marshals will also be present at key points along the routes, along with barricades and signage to redirect motorists.

More information is available at

Copyright © 2015 Cape Breton Post

Photo Caption: Mountainview Elementary students, from left, Alex Skinner, Carter Morykot, Alicia Leguizamon, and Blake Shepherd, were all smiles as they ran along Villas Street outside the school, Thursday. The four are part of the after school running club and are planning to take part in 12th Annual Cape Breton Fiddlers Youth Run, sponsored by Doctors Nova Scotia, June 4.Laura Jean Grant/Cape Breton Post