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Nike runs away with new schools programme

Nike and Kids Run Free bring top US project 'Marathon Kids' to the UK

Posted by Hannah Oakman | October 03, 2016 | Sports & Leisure

Nike and charity Kids Run Free have joined forces to bring new running programme Marathon Kids to UK primary schools. The programme aims to provide fun running experiences for kids, helping them to get active early and for life.

Nike Athletes Emily Diamond and James Dasaolu helped launch the initiative

Marathon Kids has already helped to get two million children in the US running regularly, one lap at a time, one day at a time, and eventually running the equivalent of up to four marathons over the course of a school year.

Kids earn Nike rewards, such as t-shirts, shoe laces, tags and wristbands, as they reach each marathon milestone to celebrate their progress.

Todays’ generation of children is the least active ever, according to new, independent research. In England, only one in five boys and one in six girls are meeting current guidelines of at least one hour of moderately intensive physical activity every day, according to the 2012 Health Survey for England.

Marathon Kids will initially be launched in primary schools across London with the aim of reaching thousands of children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

Marathon Kids launched at the end of September at the Newham Leisure Centre Running Track. Children had the chance to meet Nike Athletes Emily Diamond and James Dasaolu who have recently returned from the Rio Olympics.

Track and field athlete and Olympic bronze medalist Emily Diamond, said: ‘Running is a great starting point to get kids moving, because any sports involve running, whether it’s football or hockey. It also helps children to make friends and develop a variety of skills which will be useful later in life, whether that’s sport related or not.’

Dan Burrows, Senior Director for Global Community Impact Europe at Nike, added: "Numerous studies show active kids are happier, healthier and more successful at school and we know that good habits start early in life. Marathon Kids engages kids in a positive, simple, goal-driven running programme to make physical activity a natural part of their lives. We’ve had great success with this initiative in the US and we’re excited to start our partnership with Kids Run Free here in the UK to help even more children lead active lives."

Schools can request more information on the programme and how to sign up by emailing


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