Marathon Kids UK is a not-for-profit organisation that provides fully funded running opportunities for children in school time, at weekends and during the holidays, using a dedicated support network of teachers, volunteers and family members to motivate young people to develop a passion for exercise in order to aid their mental and physical well-being.
Marathon Kids UK also enjoys the backing of global ambassador and Nike athlete Mo Farah, Britain’s most successful Track athlete of the modern Olympic era, winning gold medals in the 5,000m and 10,000m at back-to-back Olympic Games in London 2012 and then four years later in Rio de Janeiro.
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The organisation operates two initiatives – Marathon Kids UK in schools and Marathon Kids UK in parks. Both programmes are headed up by Christopher McShane, a former primary school teacher, and in 2019/2020 children across the UK ran more than 365,000km, with distances recorded on the Digital Tracking System (DTS) and the Marathon Kids UK app.
The schools programme allows children to record how far they run in a school playground or playing field, earning rewards for distances achieved, while the same applies for kids who take part in parks events – but instead of tracking on the DTS, the distances are recorded on the app.
The two technologies work seamlessly alongside each other, so teachers can view a child’s holiday or weekend running activity alongside what they do in school time.
By using Marathon Kids UK’s five pillars of Goal setting, Tracking, Role-modelling, Celebrating and Rewarding, children are inspired to run further than they ever thought possible.