INEOS GO Run For Fun®, a campaign to encourage children to run for fun, has smashed its half-way milestone to get 100,000 children running by 2016, just over eighteen months after launching in the UK.
The GO Run For Fun campaign, which aims to encourage kids to get off the couch, give the TV a rest and get active, has now got over 50,000 children running at a series of events held across the UK, Europe, and now in the United States – making it the biggest children's running initiative in the world.
The campaign was first launched in Newham by Olympic medallist Colin Jackson and Team GB Athlete, Perri Shakes-Drayton in September 2013.
Over 100 events have now been staged as part of the campaign, from Belfast to Belgium and Hexham to Runcorn, where the 50,000th runner crossed the finish line on 18th March.
The GO Run For Fun series is the idea of Jim Ratcliffe, owner of INEOS, one of the UK's largest manufacturing companies, who announced a £1.5m donation spread over three years, to establish a new charitable foundation to encourage children to run for fun.
He 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. 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.”
The 50,000th runner, Bobby Robertson, 10, from St Martin's School in Murdishaw, was spurred on at the GO Run For Fun event in Runcorn, by World and European medalists, Richard Kilty and Jenny Meadows.
Richard said: “Congratulations Bobby! GO Run For Fun events are a great way for children to have fun outdoors and who knows, we may even inspire the next generation of World Champions and Olympians!”
Being active and moving more is an important part of tackling childhood obesity.
According to new figures from the National Childhood Measurement Programme, more than 29% of youngsters begin their education in Runcorn and Widnes overweight or obese, which is nearer 33% by the time they leave primary school.
The latest information from Public Health England shows that 30% of children in England aged between 2 and 15 years are now overweight or obese.
Jim Ratcliffe concluded: “It's fantastic to have encouraged 50,000 children to take part and run for fun just a year and a half into the campaign. I am pleased that through GO Run For Fun we have helped to introduce so many young people to a great and fun way to enjoy sport and a healthier lifestyle.”
INEOS GO Run For Fun continues its good work at events across the UK through 2015.
For more information and to enter your child for an event 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.