6.- 8. September 2019
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AIMS Children’s series starts 2016 by hosting first ever event in India

Children run in the AIMS Children’s Series event in Khanivali, India.

The first AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) Children’s Series race of 2016 was held on 24 January in the village of Khanivali, 80km north of Mumbai, the first time the AIMS Children’s Series has ever hosted an event in India. Just under 500 children from the Anand Laxman Chandavarkar Vidhyalay secondary school participated in a 4km fun run.

The Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) is an organisation of 410 of the world’s leading distance races in over 110 countries and terrirories. AIMS launched the Children’s Series in 2006 to assist selected AIMS Member races in promoting running among children in areas of need.
The school, attended by children from mainly farming families, hosted boys’ and girls’ races for the eighth, ninth and tenth grades.  The children raced over a traffic-free out-and-back 4km course on mainly tarmac road. The gently downhill first kilometre to the bridge over the river made for some fast starts. The girls’ races were set off five minutes after the boys so that there was only limited overlap and the interval between age groups was sufficient to allow almost all the field to have completed before the next race followed. All completed the course and some with impressive timings, the fastest of the day being 14 minutes 27 seconds. Comprehensive chip-timed results were available following the race.
There was a good incentive to run fast as the first three in each category – 18 in all -were awarded with bicycles and a pair of branded running shoes. AIMS General Secretary Hugh Jones attended and assisted with the prize giving. All those who ran received probably the most goody-laden finisher bag ever offered anywhere: the bag itself was a canvas school backpack and it contained a blanket, cap, water bottle, pens, crayons, notebook and maths instruments as well as a skipping rope and two rubber balls packets of food and toiletries. And that wasn’t all: along with the finishers’ medals and certificates everyone received a personal Fuji Instamax Polaroid of them with their medal, an analogue watch, a pair of canvas shoes (the children had been individually measured up the previous week) and two pairs of socks.
Race director Amit Sheth, who had recruited an organising team including the school staff, members of the Inner Wheel Club of Bombay Sea Coast, the Borivali National Park Green Runners from north Mumbai and a wide range of family and friends, was pleased with how the race went.
The other 2016 AIMS Children’s Series Events are scheduled to take place in Ecuador and South Africa.
AIMS General Secretary Hugh Jones comments: “I am delighted that I was able to attend this Children’s Series event and see first-hand the great work that has been done on behalf of the children here.”
AIMS Co-ordinator of the Children’s Series Martha Morales comments: “We are delighted to begin the 2016 AIMS Children’s Series in a new location in India. We look forward to an even bigger and better event next year.”
AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “We would like to thank the organising committee for their excellent efforts in organising such a successful Children’s Series event. We trust that all of the 2016 Children’s Series events will be of such a high standard. We are delighted to see how much joy this event has created among the children who participated.”

Further Information
About the AIMS Children’s Series

AIMS launched the concept of the Children’s Series, a series of running events targeted at young people, in 2006 to assist selected AIMS Member races in promoting running among children. Since 2006 the Children’s Series has sought to arrange three events per year with each event taking place in collaboration with an AIMS member race.

The AIMS President at the time of the creation of the Children’s Series, now AIMS President Emeritus, Hiroaki Chosa commented: “Many great athletes have often emerged against great adversity. We are seeking to encourage more young children to follow their dreams and to aim for a healthy life.” The member races involved in the first year pilot project of the AIMS Children’s Series were the Sahara Marathon in Algeria, the Kathmandu Peace Run in Nepal and the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa.

The first AIMS Children’s Series event was held on 27 February 2006 in conjunction with the Sahara Marathon in Tindouf, Algeria. The event saw 1,000 children taking part in 800m races. The second event was held in October 2006 in association with the Samsung Kathmandu 5km Peace Run. The final event of the pilot year was in November 2006 and saw 3,000 runners take part in races organised by the 6th Toyota Great Ethiopian Run 10km. The top three runners in each category received plaques from a trio of distinguished athletes: Carolina Kluft, Sonia O’Sullivan and race patron Haile Gebrselassie.

AIMS has since gone on to host events in countries where many children grow up facing serious challenges such as Algeria, Nepal, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Mexico. A full list of host races/countries for AIMS Children’s Series races can be found below. 

The AIMS Children’s Series is very much in support and recognition of the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In 1989, governments worldwide promised all children the same rights by adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) also known as the UNCRC (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child). The Convention changed in many areas of the world the way children are viewed and treated – in other words, as human beings with a distinct set of rights instead of as passive objects of care and charity.

These rights describe what a child needs to survive, grow, and live up to their potential in the world. They apply equally to every child, no matter who they are or where they come from.

In many parts of the world through war, poverty, lack of education and other issues children don’t get the chance to be a child, to play and therefore to access their full potential. Jean Piaget, recognised by most as the world’s greatest expert on child developmental psychology once said “Play is the answer to how anything new comes about”.

AIMS would like to thank all sponsors and partners, current and past who have all significantly contributed to the ongoing success of the AIMS Children’s Series.

History of the AIMS Children’s Series

About AIMS
AIMS is a member based organisation and since being established in 1982 has grown to a membership of more than 410 of the world’s leading distance races, from over 110 countries and territories. AIMS Members come from every continent on the planet and include the Athens Marathon, The Authentic formed on the legend of Pheidippides, the Greek soldier-runner who ran from the town of Marathon to Athens in 490 BC to announce the Persians had been defeated in the ‘Battle of Marathon’. Other AIMS members include many of the world’s greatest distance races in history such as the Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York & Tokyo Marathons. The three key objectives of AIMS are:

  1. To foster and promote distance running throughout the world
  2. To work with the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) on all matters relating to international road races.
  3.  To exchange information, knowledge and expertise among members of the association

For further information on AIMS please visit:  www.aimsworldrunning.org

This week, AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) measurer-administrator Hugh Jones is visiting Tallinn to officially measure the Tallinn Marathon 42.2km, 21.1km and Optibet 10km courses.