Hull Ionians Rugby Club played host to two children’s mass running events on 24 and 25 April 2019, with 2450 primary school pupils taking part.
Children aged between five and 11 from 31 local schools across the Humber took part in the free fun run, covering a distance of two kilometres each.
Organised by running initiative GO Run For Fun and in partnership with Active Humber, this is the second consecutive year that the event has taken place in Hull, and is part of a series of events organised across the UK in 2019.
Laura Weightman, 1500 metre athlete and finalist in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics, was the ambassador for the events and showed her support by delivering warm ups with the children, hosting Q&A sessions and cheering on the runners.
Laura commented: “These events are great for kids, bringing everyone together to have a fun morning being active. It’s great that I can come to an event to share some of my experiences and inspire the kids to be active.
“I started running at the age of 12, running cross country races for my school which I loved. I then joined my running club to train and do more races. I always enjoyed being active from a young age and tried lots of sports when I was younger including dancing, karate, football and hockey.
When asked what advice she would give to young children about staying active and healthy, Laura said:
“Find a sport or activity that you enjoy doing, it’s important to have fun. Having fun and enjoying what you do will make you want to keep doing it.”
The participants were also joined by two Hull FC rugby league players, Albert Kelly and Danny Washbrook, who have played for the club for a number of years.
Talking about the events, Danny said: “Events like this promote an active lifestyle and show the benefits of exercise and to me are highly important for young people.”
Local volunteers from Fitmums & Friends, Absolutely Cultured, Cottingham High School and Uniformed Services from North Lindsey College also gave up their time to support the events.
GO Run For Fun, which is run in partnership with the Great Run series, is aiming to get a total of 350,000 children running by the end of the 2019, up from 280,000 in 2018, by organising a total of 11 mass running events across the UK.
Tom O’Brien, event manager at GO Run For Fun, said: “We had such a good time at the event last year that we’re excited to be coming back and getting even more children active. Having two events in Hull this year has allowed us to double the number of children taking part from last year’s event.
“Sport England’s recent findings state that enjoyment is the biggest driver of activity levels for children. GO Run For Fun events are all about enjoyment, the runs aren’t timed or competitive, we want to encourage being active and try to make it fun for everyone.”
Jo McDonald, county sports partner at Active Humber added: “Last year we had 1300 children enjoy taking part in the Humber event, so we are delighted to be able to extend the event over two days, and give so many more pupils the chance to enjoy GO Run For Fun.
“We hope it can help us in Active Humber’s mission – to make the Humber a place where everyone, every day is physically active.”
The initiative is supported by INEOS, a multinational company headquartered in London, with health and fitness at the heart of its ethos.
INEOS Chairman, Jim Ratcliffe, is deeply passionate about running. He said: “It has never been more important to support young people in leading healthier, more active lives.
“GO Run for Fun and The Daily Mile have been making a positive impact on the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of children in the UK and beyond for the last four years. We are very proud to support these two initiatives and everyone who runs in them.”
GO Run For Fun organises free running events across the world to inspire children to be more active. To find out more about GO Run For Fun, visit www.thedailymileevents.com or stay up to date on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.