Sports with Stranger hits the ground running

This week’s Sports with Stranger went outside the studio and onto the land.

The Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Council (MASRC) hosted its second 5K run for Indigenous women and girls.

“It’s about coming back to this place on these lands and moving in ways that we used to as Indigenous people,” said Season Kirkwood, the sport for social development manager at MASRC, “and then having everyone come together as a community, to really show that through individual sport and accomplishments we’re not alone.

“It’s a really cool physical representation of just people coming from all across Manitoba to support Indigenous women and girls.”

Participants were encouraged to go at their own pace, whether that be running, walking or both.


“The excitement that we’re all doing this together, and seeing and hugging people you run into from community – I think that’s the best part,” said Stephanie Midford, one of the participants.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re running, walking, running/walking at the same time, you’re accomplishing a goal all together, and at the end everyone’s just excited that we got to participate in something fun together.”

One of the runner’s credits MASRC with helping her on her journey to health and helping others.

“MASRC means a lot to me as an Indigenous woman and an athlete,” said Tracie Leoste.

“They’ve provided lots of opportunities and support for me to have better experiences in the recreation world, and have also provided me opportunities to give back so other younger girls can have more positive experiences, too.”

Mental well-being

Like many activities on the land, running is something many people find good for their overall health and mental well-being, including Midford.

“Lot of people, for myself, finding sport and being active has increased my mental well-being and just helping myself to live a more balanced life,” she said.

Leoste said it was good to have an event for women and girls in a positive way.

“Far too often, tragically, we’re brought together in ways that aren’t meant to support us, often it’s for tragedy and support work,” she said. “It’s really important that we’re here today to celebrate and lift up one another.”

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