A new regular race event is being set up to encourage children of all ages to take up running and gain health benefits from being regularly active.
Brighton & Hove City Council’s Sports Development has linked up with a charity called Kids Run Free to support the introduction of free race events for children at Easthill Park, Portslade.
The charity will organise races suitable for children of all ages up to sixteen years old to run. The races will take place every first and third Saturday of the month from Saturday 7 February, starting with a warm up from 8.45am and races from 9am.
The new venture follows the success of the council’s citywide Active for Life Running Challenge which has been over-subscribed, particularly in the Portslade area.
In a bid to further foster the enthusiasm for children’s running, the council is working with Kids Run Free to provide a regular race experience which can accommodate large numbers of participants.
Cllr Geoffrey Bowden, Chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee, said: “The Kids Run Free races give children from across the city a chance to don their trainers on a regular basis and set some personal bests. Running is an excellent sport suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities. The popularity of major running events in the city follows through to the youth races which are always well supported. Unlike some sports, there is very little kit needed to start running, so there is nothing to lose and plenty to gain from signing up to have a go.”
Kids Run Free is a successful charity operating in sixteen locations around the UK. The new Brighton & Hove Kids Run Free events will be the first venture by the charity in the south east. The format will be the same as is popular elsewhere in the country, providing children’s running races in distances ranging from 50 metres to more than 1km.
As the name implies, the events are free to take part in. The only requirement is for children to be registered with the charity before turning up to take part.
Samantha Young, Project Manager Kids Run Free, said: "Our mission is to ignite children's passion for sport allowing them to become healthier, happier more confident children and we want this for all children regardless of their age, experience or fitness. Our running events are fully inclusive and free to join meaning all can get involved. We believe that if children are given the opportunity to engage with physical activity from the youngest age they will carry this into adult life. We are so excited to be bringing Kids Run Free to Brighton & Hove making Easthill Park our seventeenth location across the country. We look forward to seeing you at the park for lots of fun and running.”
The Kids Run Free sessions are free for any child from walking age to 16 years who wants to take part. Pre-registration applies.
The Active for Life Running Challenge programme is available in Hollingdean, Tarner, Portslade, Moulsecoomb, Hollingbury, Whitehawk, Hangleton and at Withdean Stadium. The 10 week course helps children gain stamina, skills and confidence to take part in events such as the Brighton Half Marathon Youth Races and the Brighton Mini Mile. The current programme is underway and fully subscribed.
The Sports Development team offers advice on a range of running opportunities and many different sporting activities in the city.