Image by Janis Wolf

A running program focused on promoting resilience in youth.



The program

A Community Coalition

Bison Run Club was born out of a desire to create connection among youth who may be impacted by mental health challenges.  We believe that time spent on trails connects us to the land, our body and mind.  This welcoming and supportive trail running program has been developed in consultation with a team of community leaders with expertise in mental health, running and youth services programming.  This initiative will focus on creating connection, and promoting physical and mental health through coaching, mentorship and proven strategies.  The skills and experience gained from this program will focus on promoting resilience in youth.  All selected participants will receive a pair of running shoes and a club shirt, and will have access to transportation support to and from the program location (Centennial Park).


Who is this program designed for?

This running program is for any 14-17 year old interested in gaining skills and connection with others while addressing mental health issues like anxiety, stress and depression through mentorship, coaching and teaching of mindfulness practices.

How is mental health support addressed?

Through guided mentorship and group discussions, youth will explore various topics, such as emotional wellness, adaptive skills, and goal setting before, during and after trail runs.  Youth will also be able to access mental health support resources.

Do I need to be an experienced runner to participate?

What matters is not your speed or endurance, but rather, your commitment to learning, showing up and participating in the workouts and group discussions.  A head coach will design daily workouts and youth will be supported by mentors to achieve their goals.  

Tell me more about the running part.

No participant will ever be on their own.  The groups will follow a structured running program each day, including a warm up, the daily workout and a cool down.  Running may be continuous or in intervals, based on the day's goal.  Youth will have an opportunity to reflect on their day, and journal their experiences before and after each run, and will have snacks provided following each run.  


This is not a high performance running program, nor one that focuses on running technique, although all participants will have access to develop these skills through an experienced coach.   

How do I join the club?

Parents, guardians or supporting adults may submit applications through our online form.

The club is limited to 20 youth participants.  Our committee will review applications and contact selected individuals.  Applications will be primarily based on a first-come first-serve basis as well as the expressed participant interest during the application phase.  

Program Dates*

Mondays and Thursdays (5:00pm - 6:30pm) starting and ending at Centennial Park from May 25th - July 29th plus a final team excursion on Saturday, July 31st.

*In-person start date is tentatively set to start on June 7th.

*Program start dates will follow current COVID-19 guidelines.



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Program Goals

  • Increased emotional wellness and level of connectedness

  • Increased overall level of self-confidence

  • Adaptive skills development

  • Promote outdoor physical activity

  • Increased awareness of available mental health support services

  • Increased Resilience

A Bison Runner sees strength in unity, and applies their mental and physical strength to conquer adversity. 

A Bison Runner is a resilient runner.