Rio Olympic champ Dasaolu helps East End pupils become ‘Marathon kids’
- Credit: Kids Marathon charity
A running programme has been started for primary schools in east London to help children get active early and for life.
East London has suffered high child obesity rates in recent years, especially in deprived areas like Tower Hamlets, caused mainly by inactivity.
But now the Marathon Kids programme which has already helped to get two million children in the US running regularly has been brought to east London by the Kids Run Free charity.
Youngsters are encouraged to run one lap at a time, one day at a time, and eventually run the equivalent of four marathons over the course of a school year.
They get T-shirts, shoe laces, tags and wristbands as they reach each marathon milestone to mark their progress.
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Pupils met Rio Olympic champs Emily Diamond and James Dasaolu when the programme was launched by the charity and Nike sportswear makers on September 29.
“My teachers motivated me and helped find the right running club,” sprinter Dasaolu told them.
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“But it wasn’t until London won the 2012 Olympic bid that I really got serious about it.
“The idea of potentially being able to run at the Olympics in my home town was what got me motivated.”
The programme was started following figures showing only one-in-four boys and one-in-five girls in London primary schools meet guidelines of at least an hour of physical activity every day.
The youngsters at the launch ran laps towards their first mile in the programme while teachers were shown how to set up the programme in their own school.
Events are planned throughout the school year to get youngsters at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 more active. +++
Schools interested in setting up their own Marathon Kids programme can email the Kids Run Free charity at: firstname.lastname@example.org