By Ryan Yousefi

The annual Parkland Running Buddies event is right around the corner, offering an exciting day of fun-filled activities for those individuals with special needs.

Opening Day of the Parkland Buddy Sports’ 12th annual Running Buddies program will take place on Sunday, October 1, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The eight-week program takes place on Sundays at Terramar Park and is free to attend. 

Organized by the Parkland Buddy Sports nonprofit organization, the Running Buddles program aims to bring together special needs children aged four and above with dedicated student volunteers. 

Attendees can expect a day of fun-filled running-related activities, including stretching, dancing, warm-up runs, long runs, and music-based running drills.

Those interested in working as volunteers at the event are asked to arrive at Terramar Park at 9:45 a.m. Runners, both special needs “buddies” and student volunteers, should arrive by 10:15 a.m. to ensure a prompt start to the day’s activities.

Running Buddies will occur this year on several Sundays, providing multiple opportunities for participants and volunteers to join the fun. Other dates include October 15, 22, 29, November 5, 12, and 19. 

Additionally, the program will host a special Turkey Trot event on Thanksgiving Day in Tamarac, offering participants and volunteers a chance to celebrate the holiday together.

Initiated in 2002 by the Parkland Buddy Sports nonprofit organization, the Running Buddies program has since aimed to provide a safe and welcoming environment for children and young adults with special needs. 

The program welcomes students of all ages to volunteer, including high school students who can earn service hours toward their high school diplomas. 

For more information on Parkland Buddy Sports, go to

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Author Profile

Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi
Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
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