GO Run For Fun is a nationwide programme of short-distance runs for children aged between five and 10, set up in 2013 with the backing of Lord Coe, and other Olympians, such as Colin Jackson and Brendan Foster.
GO Run For Fun is a response to the physical inactivity crisis in the UK, and aims to encourage lifestyle change by promoting sport as fun, inclusive, and accessible from an early age.
On Thursday, July 17th, the campaign hit a new milestone as the 30,000th child crossed the finish line in GO Run For Fun’s Norwich event, which was backed by Norwich School Sport Partnership. Set up less than a year ago, GO Run For Fun is now well on track to get over 100,000 children running by 2016.
Minister for Sport, Helen Grant, has congratulated GO Run For Fun for getting more children more active and into sport. “I want to see more children participating in sport and developing a sporting habit for life. GO Run For Fun is a great and fun way to introduce children and young people to sport and I am delighted that already 30,000 children have got involved.”
Children & Families Minister Edward Timpson is also supportive of this initiative. He said: “It’s vital that young people get into the habit of exercise from an early age. I’m delighted that GO Run For Fun is working with parents, school teachers and sports clubs to get children involved in running and instilling a love of physical activity.”
Olympic Gold Medalist, Mark Lewis Francis, who will be representing England in the Commonwealth Games in the 4 x 100m relay event, cheered on all the young runners at the Norwich event.
He said: “It is an honor for me to attend and support this GO Run For Fun event in Norwich. It is great to have schools, local athletics clubs and national campaigns working together to encourage our younger generations to start and keep running.
“It’s brilliant to have hit the amazing 30,000th participant milestone today in Norwich and have more than 1,000 children here, all participating in GO Run For Fun. These fun events are a great way for your kids to get out of the house and have fun with their friends – running. We really must make sure that kids are given the opportunity to get active from an early age, and GO Run For Fun provides the chance to do that.”
The GO Run For Fun series is the idea of Jim Ratcliffe, owner of INEOS, one of the UK’s largest manufacturing companies, who has given a £1.5m donation spread over three years to establish a new charitable foundation to encourage children to run for fun.
Jim said: “I’m passionate about getting as many children running as possible as early as possible. 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.”
Schools and colleges can now get involved in GO Run For Fun in the classroom by clicking on the GO Challenge Zone at www.gorunforfun.com.
For more information and to enter your child for 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.