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Olympic Champion, Sanya Richards-Ross Becomes Marathon Kids Global Ambassador

By MK Editor, May 23, 2021

College track-and-field star. NCAA national championship runner. Co-Owner of MommiNation. Four-time Olympic gold-medalist. Mom.

These are just a few of the important titles Sanya Richards-Ross holds. As of 2021, she has a new one to add to the list: Richards-Ross is the new Global Ambassador for Marathon Kids.

“Inspiring kids to run, especially girls and minorities, has always been a passion for me,” says Richards-Ross. “My specialty is the 400-meter run, and working with Marathon Kids lets me say to kids, ‘You can run a full marathon just 400 meters at a time.’ It’s an honor for me to work with this organization and inspire more young people and minority kids to get active, feel better and discover their best selves through running.”

"It’s an honor for me to work with this organization and inspire more young people and minority kids to get active, feel better and discover their best selves through running.”

Richards-Ross is no stranger to Marathon Kids, having served on the organization’s board for the past several years. She even occasionally finds time in her busy schedule to visit local kids and encourage them to keep moving, such as one morning in Spring 2019 when she visited Pflugerville Elementary School and ran laps with the kids during their regular Marathon Kids program meet-up. Even as she transitions out of professional sports, Richards-Ross remains committed to finding meaningful ways to help kids get and stay active.

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The FitMommi (& Me!) Challenge Helps Moms and Kids Connect by Getting Active

As a lifelong athlete and mother to a three-year-old son, Richards-Ross knows how important it is to stay fit and healthy. She also knows what a challenge it can be for moms to prioritize their health as they juggle the seemingly endless demands of parenting, work and life in general. In the name of helping other moms get physically active and connect with their kids this summer, Richards-Ross has launched the FitMommi (& Me!) Challenge with Mykal Steen through MommiNation, in partnership with Marathon Kids.

Founded on the idea that it takes a village to raise a child and a Nation to support a Mommi, MommiNation is Richards-Ross and Steen’s virtual platform and community for moms and women of color. The partners launched the FitMommi Challenge in 2019 with the goal of helping moms and their children cultivate a physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually healthy lifestyle, while enjoying a fun and active summer together.

This year, the 30-day fitness challenge kicked off on July 5 and features weekly live workouts with certified fitness coaches and trainers as well as daily affirmations, nutrition guidance, and community support through MommiNation. Though the challenge has already begun, there’s still time to join—registration is free, or you can sign up for a VIP package (with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Marathon Kids!).

Walk and Talk With FitMommi Nation

Along with the challenge’s other offerings, FitMommi participants have access to Walk and Talk, the popular Marathon Kids program for parents and their children. FitMommis walk a mile a day with their kids, using the active time to connect through the program’s guided conversation starters.

Originally developed to encourage sharing and connection between parents and kids, the Walk and Talk conversation starters have been updated for the FitMommi Challenge by Dr. Donald L. Corley, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of stress, phobias, anxiety and depressive disorders. Dr. Corley revised the conversation starters to ensure they inspire confidence, staying active and having fun while addressing the unique challenges kids have faced through the past year.

Having a fun, active and healthy summer is especially important for children this summer in particular, after the difficult year that families around the U.S. and the world have experienced. But summer always presents a challenge for parents—and an opportunity.

“There are so many activities kids love, like gaming and social media, that keep them sedentary,” says Richards-Ross. “This is especially an issue in the summertime, when kids have hours of unstructured time every day. The Fit Mommi (&Me!) Challenge shows kids that walking and running, and just moving their bodies, can be a fun and vital part of their lives, and that spending active time with Mom can be both meaningful and fun.”

Register now for the FitMommi (& Me!) Challenge to gain access to workouts with world-class trainers and coaches, essential nutrition information and guidance, daily affirmations to keep you filled up and motivated, and Walk and Talk conversation starters to help you connect with your kids as you build a lifetime of fitness together.