A Leamington charity’s project to encourage children across the UK to exercise outdoors now has the support of the London Marathon.
The Kids Marathon programme, run by Leamington charity Kids Run Free, invites schools across the country to run a sports programme that gives children the chance to run the distance of a marathon over a period of time and receive a medal when they complete it.
London Marathon Events Ltd, organisers of the Virgin Money London Marathon and other mass participation events, is financially supporting the second phase of the programme and assisting the charity in launching the initiative in 30 primary schools in London, in conjunction with the 2016/17 launch across the rest of the UK.
Children who compete do not have to complete the marathon distance: the main objective is to motivate children to be more active whatever the distance.
Among the schools in Leamington taking part is St Paul’s Primary School in Upper Holly Walk. Pete Hawkins, year 5 and 6 teacher, said: “Children have been excited about running and taking part in physical exercise - not just the so-called ‘sporty’ kids, but a range of different children of varying abilities.”
The real cost of the Kids’ Marathon project is £3.70 per child, but the funding secured by the charity means the programme is now available to schools for £1 per child.
Kids Run Free, which was set up in Leamington six years ago by Martine Verweij and Catherine O’Carroll, aims to create fun, sustainable running opportunities for 0 to 16-year-olds and organises free running sessions on the first Saturday of the month. Sessions in Warwick district take place at Newbold Comyn in Leamington and at St Nicholas Park in Warwick. For further details, visit www.kidsrunfree.co.uk