Friday Five: National “Holidays” in June

There is a national “holiday” for just about everything, from non-serious things like hot dogs to serious days such as World Oceans Day or National Cancer Survivors Day. Here at Outdoor Athlete, we would like to bring your attention to a several outside sport-themed national “holidays” all held in June. Celebrate with one of the events listed on the following websites, or set up your own event by doing one of these activities with a few friends:

1. National Learn to Row Day: June 1

USRowing and Concept2 are sponsoring the 12th-annual National Learn to Row Day to encourage people to try out rowing both on and off the water. A variety of rowing clubs and health clubs throughout the country will be celebrating this day by hosting events that introduce people to rowing and hopefully get them excited about joining the sport. Ecorse Rowing Club and the Grand Rapids Rowing Association are hosting events in Michigan, with a chance to learn how to use the ergometer (indoor rowing machine) as well as rowing out on the water. Experienced club members will be rowing with newcomers on the water, to help keep the boats stable, so head on over to Ecorse or Grand Rapids this Saturday and learn to row!

Ecorse website      Grand Rapids website

2. National Trails Day: June 1

Hosted by the American Hiking Society, June 1 is set aside for the largest celebration of trails in the country. Hike, bike, walk, go horseback riding, birdwatching–anything and everything is included, as long as it includes trails. All across the nation, and the state of Michigan, events are being held in a number of national and state parks. Take a guided walk, hike a new trail, or even volunteer to help maintain and clean-up trails, check out the list of events and search “Michigan” to see all the ways you can participate in National Trails Day!

3. National Running Day: June 5

Runners, gather together Wednesday, June 5, and declare your passion for running! Longtime runners, go for a run to remind yourself why you love the sport. Beginners, make this the day to start running. Running specialty stores are hosting fitting events across the country, and some are even allowing shoppers to test drive a new pair of shoes, such as the New Balance store in Farmington Hills. Running Day also has a meet-up page where groups of runners can sign up and host a run or join a run in a community near you. For more information, and to join a run or host a group run yourself, go to the Running Day website.

4. National Get Outdoors Day: June 8

The 6th annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) is an outgrowth of the Get Outdoors USA! campaign, both encouraging active outdoor lives as well as respect for the nation’s parks, forests, and public waters. Community Family Youth Park in Baldwin is offering activities to get kids involved with the outdoors, including a hands-on turtle and snake presentation. Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn will be offering activities for families all day in the Pavilion, as well as a nature hike in the afternoon. Live far from either of these towns? Anyone can participate in this national “holiday” by just getting outside and exploring the outdoors!

National Get Outdoors Day website, Community Family Youth Park event, Greenfield Village event

5. National SUP Day: June 15

Like to SUP, or stand-up paddle board? June 15 is the second annual day to SUP in celebration of the sport and to raise awareness of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Pipeline to a Cure program. Australian researchers found that cystic fibrosis patients who surfed and went stand up paddle boarding had significantly healthier lungs, so the swimsuit company NEXT by Athena joined with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to support Pipeline to a Cure and raise awareness of the cause. There are only a few public events for the “holiday” so far, but more are expected to pop-up as awareness for the campaign increases. You do not need to attend an event to participate in this “holiday,” just grab your boards and show your support for the sport and Pipeline to a Cure by paddle boarding with friends and raising awareness for this great foundation. To find out more about the National SUP Day events, visit their website. For more information about Pipeline to a Cure and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, visit NEXT’s website.

There are those random national holidays and then there are the ones that matter–these five in particular raise awareness about a variety of sports and encourage active lifestyles, with one functioning in support of a specific health issue. So this June, spread the word about your favorite outdoor sports with the help of these national events while giving back to sport communities, national parks, trail systems, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation!

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