An easy way to get your pupils active – Marathon Kids

According to the NCMP and Child Obesity Profile: short statistical commentary, January 2019 published by the government

  • the prevalence of severe obesity among children in Year 6 has shown an increase from 3.2% in 2006 to 2007 to 4.2% in 2017 to 2018.
  • between 2006/07 and 2017/18 the gap between obesity prevalence for the most and least deprived areas increased by 5.0 percentage points. The least deprived areas remained level whilst the most deprived areas increased quite significantly.
  • Obesity prevalence in the least deprived areas remained similar for both boys and girls. In the most deprived areas obesity prevalence increased more for boys than girls.

We all know that obesity can cause severe health difficulties for children, it can also impact their concentration, their self-esteem and progress in school. So how can we, as teachers and school leaders, think about increasing daily activity without compromising lesson time? How can we introduce something to our school day that does not require equipment from our depleting budgets? Most importantly how can we think of accessible initiatives that will help those schools in deprived areas and pupils from disadvantaged homes everywhere? Something that does not require parental contribution in any form other than enthusiasm and support?
Several schools have turned to a charity called Kids Run Free and their school programme ‘Marathon Kids’.  Marathon Kids gives primary school children the opportunity to run or walk the distance of up to four marathons throughout the school year. The programme, whose ambassador is Sir Mo Farah, emphasises personal achievement and aims to inspire children of all fitness levels and abilities to set and achieve their marathon kids goals. All schools have to do is to set up a circuit wherever they can in their own school and encourage children to complete as many circuits as possible at lunch or playtime or after school. Tracked by the MK Digital Tracking System, children can run, skip, jump their way round as many times or as few times as they choose. Rewarded with stickers and certificates along the way to mark their milestones, before they know it they’ve done a full marathon or more throughout the school year. Something every pupil, teacher and parent can be proud of
“My daughter, like any child used to run everywhere, but only when she started doing MK that she found her love for running. I now have discussed with her the possibility of registering her to a summer athletics club, as she loves running so much. I believe this wouldn’t have been possible without Marathon Kids.”
Teacher, Tudor Grange
It’s an ingenious way of getting pupils active! After all running is free, full of health benefits, and requires little to no equipment. It’s an easy way to keep the whole school, teachers included, fighting fit!
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