I believe that if you can dream it, you can achieve it. And Support4Sport helped to make my Olympic dreams come true.

Adrienne Power, 200m Sprinter

Micheline McWhirter

Those little legs sure can move
Micheline McWhirter
Community Program

Micheline McWhirter knows first hand how it feels to have the wind against her face and pavement underfoot. She understands that even while her body is in a state of constant movement, when she runs, somehow the world stands still. Micheline is a runner, and like many runners she can’t help but share her love for the sport.

Running is one of the few sports that Nova Scotians can enjoy year-round with ease. And running doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of age, location or income, everyone can participate in running. It was because of these guiding principles that founders of the Youth Running Series™ (YRS) partnered with Run Nova Scotia to launch the youth-focused group in 1996.

YRS is a non-profit organization that provides all levels of youth in Nova Scotia with the opportunity to engage in running as a means to a healthy, active and positive lifestyle. To achieve this goal, YRS organizes running races for youth 17 or younger.

“The races aren’t really about who wins and who loses, in fact we discourage competition. Its really about getting kids involved in running at a young age with the hopes that they’ll become lifelong runners,” says Micheline.

Micheline didn’t discover her love of running until later in life. As certain aspects of her personal life grew more and more challenging, running became a welcomed release from daily stresses.

“The sport of running has really helped me. It took my confidence to new levels and I’ve never felt healthier,” she says.

In 2004 Micheline joined Run Nova Scotia and it seemed her newfound passion for running was infectious. Soon her 10-year-old daughter showed interest in the sport, so Micheline started volunteering and helping with the Youth Running Series™. She became the president of the group in 2008.

“When I initially accepted the volunteer position I didn’t realize how much time it takes to be president. I’ve learned a lot along the way and time management is definitely a must, but I really enjoy it,” she says.

Support4Sport funding helped get the series off the ground and actually allowed the program to expand,” she says. “More schools have become involved and we were able to use the funding to purchase a racing clock and participation ribbons.”

In the last year the program’s popularity has more than doubled, but a number of young running enthusiasts have been involved in the program for years. At 14, Ellen Taggart has already been running for more than five years.

Ellen is a poster child for athleticism. She plays soccer, swims and runs competitively.

“I got involved in running because I had a physical education teacher when I was in grade four who wanted to start an after-school running program for the Bluenose Marathon and told me about the Youth Running Series™,” says Ellen. “My dad likes to run and he volunteered to help so we got involved in the after-school program and YRS. I have been running with YRS ever since.”

Ellen is a strong advocate for youth fitness programs, and she wishes more young athletes would take part in the YRS program.

“I wish more kids would be involved in it. There is no pressure and no one is expected to be a top athlete to go in the runs. It’s just a great way to have fun, get some exercise and get involved in running.”

With champion spokespeople like Micheline McWhirter and Ellen Taggart behind it, there’s no wonder the Youth Running Series™ has become provincially known. It just goes to show that when they put their minds to it, even the skinniest legs can travel great distances.


Dartmouth, NS
44° 40' 34.9824" N, 63° 32' 59.0208" W


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