Charity’s festival provides inspiration for children to get active

Children taking part in the Kids Marathon at Kids Run Free's Festival of Sport in Leamington.

Children taking part in the Kids Marathon at Kids Run Free's Festival of Sport in Leamington.

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More than 180 children ran a total of 675km at Kids Run Free’s Festival of Sport in Leamington on Saturday.

The Leamington-based charity, which organises regular free running events for children around the UK, hosted the festival at the Pump Room Gardens.

Children taking part in the Kids Marathon at Kids Run Free's Festival of Sport in Leamington.

Children taking part in the Kids Marathon at Kids Run Free's Festival of Sport in Leamington.

Despite the rain, the gardens were packed with youngsters and their families, with 16 teams of more than 180 children taking part in a Kids Marathon challenge - and together they covered more than the distance between Leamington and Paris.

All children who took part were presented with a medal, goody bag and T-shirt by Transplant Games champion and London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer Peter Frazier, Olympic sprinter Owusu Dako, Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White and Leamington mayor Anna Morrison.

The event also included other sporty and fun activities and displays designed to inspire children to get active.

Kids Run Free’s founder and chief executive Martine Verweij said: “We are delighted at how the event went. It was amazing to see so many children running, from the age of 18 months to 16 years old.

“The support we have received from the community has surpassed or expectation - from local businesses, supports clubs, groups and the general public.”

The event was supported by Chris White MP, Love Leamington, Leamington Round Table, 29th May 1961 Trust, Heart of England Community Fund, Warwick Town Council, Warwickshire Association of Youth Clubs and Wright Hassall.

Kids Run Free events take place on the second and fourth Saturday of the month at Newbold Comyn in Leamington and on the first and third Saturday of the month at St Nicholas Park in Warwick at 9am. www.kidsrunfree.co.uk