Over 600 children will get off the starting blocks in Suffolk this week as part of the GO Run For Fun campaign.
Children from five local primary schools will take part in a GO Run For Fun event at Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre on Wednesday 29th June, with support from World, European and Commonwealth medallist sprinter, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and the GO Run For Fun mascot, Dart.
Harry was named as the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2005 and the IAAF’s Rising Star of the Year after becoming the first athlete to win gold medals at both 100 metres and 200 metres at the World Youth Championships.
He said: “It’s great to see so many young runners taking part in GO Run For Fun. This event is a great way to inspire children to be more active and it gives them the opportunity to represent their school at a fun sports event. The pride and sense of achievement you get as you cross the finish line of a run is second-to-none. They should all be very proud of themselves for taking part.”
Cllr Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for health, said: “It is fantastic to see so many young people taking part in the event and I’m sure having Harry present will be an inspiration to them all. If we are going to address the current levels of inactivity its essential that we make sport and physical activity both enjoyable and fun for young people and that’s exactly what this event achieves.”
Having encouraged more than 145,000 children to get running through over 220 events so far, the GO Run For Fun campaign is already the biggest children’s running initiative in the world. By the end of this year it aims to encourage many more kids to get off the couch, give the TV a rest and get active.
The GO Run For Fun campaign is the idea of Jim Ratcliffe, owner of INEOS, one of the UK’s largest manufacturing companies, which announced a £1.5m donation spread over three years to encourage children to run for fun via the GO Run For Fun charitable foundation.
He explained: “I’m passionate about getting as many children running early in their lives. The idea is simple – to get children out of the house having fun. It is not rocket science. Running is the basis of so many great sports. If our children can catch the running bug early, they’re more likely to stick to it, and this can only lead to them having more active and healthier lifestyles in the future.”
GO Run For Fun will continue to tour the UK and Europe throughout 2016 with other events planned including the campaign’s flagship event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium in London. For more information and to enter your child for INEOS GO Run For Fun events happening near you, or to register your local club or school’s interest in joining our campaign, please visit: www.gorunforfun.com.
You can also visit the GO Run For Fun Facebook page, or find them on Twitter @_GRFF.