OVER 30 schools across Falkirk came together at Callendar Park on Tuesday 20 November to take part in a cross-country event organised by the running initiative GO Run For Fun and the Falkirk Victoria Harriers.
The 1,000 children were joined by Guy Learmonth, the third fastest Scottish 800m athlete of all time, who interacted with the children during the race. He then greeted the participants at the finish line and took part in a Q and A session with them.
Billy Buchanan, the Provost of Falkirk, also supported the event and was at the starting point cheering the children on.
When asked about what brought him to the event, Guy said: “The work that the GO Run For Fun team do is outstanding, using running to promote a healthy and active lifestyle as well as valuable educational days to further promote these key messages. It’s a privilege to show my support to both the event and the kids today.
Guy also spoke about his own experience with running. He said: “I’ve always run, my first memories were running with my Dad up from his work back to my house when I was around 5 years old.
Guy continued: “Sport has given me so many opportunities in life, it’s allowed me to travel the world, meet new people and make life-long friends. This has all been possible from simply staying active and living a healthy lifestyle when I was younger and I continue to do that today, it gives me a focus and energy in everything that I put my mind to.”
Prior to the event, on Monday 8 October, 12 Falkirk primary schools attended a separate GO Run For Fun Health & Wellbeing event, where two pupils from each school were trained as Special Agents, with a mission to get their school healthy and active. The cross-country event, which followed on Tuesday 20 November, welcomed the Special Agents back to discuss how their missions went ahead of the run.
Caroline Lawless, club treasurer at Falkirk Victoria Harriers, said: “It is fantastic to welcome back GO Run For Fun to Falkirk supporting our Primary Schools Cross Country League.”
GO Run For Fun has been working with primary schools and councils across the UK to help encourage children between the ages of five and 11 years old to get active and become more aware of the fun involved in sport and activity.
Caroline spoke about the impact of the events: “The children return to school buzzing from the excitement of the morning’s event and feedback from schools is that it also improves children’s confidence and self-esteem.”
The programme is supported by INEOS, a multinational company headquartered in London, with health and fitness at the heart of its ethos. INEOS Grangemouth employees volunteered to help with the Falkirk event.
INEOS Chairman, Jim Ratcliffe, is deeply passionate about running. He said: “It has never been more important to support young people in leading healthier, more active lives.
“GO Run for Fun and The Daily Mile have been making a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of children in the UK and beyond for the last four years. We are very proud to support these two initiatives and everyone who runs in them.”