Kids Run Free is a charity that organises free children’s running races throughout the UK. Support through Sport UK spoke to Founder Martine Verweij to find out more …
Hi there. Where in the UK do you currently hold kids’ running races?
At the moment, Kids Run Free events take place in five locations: Solihull, Leamington Spa, Coventry, Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon. In December, we are launching Kids Run Free in Leicester. We also have a project called Love Sport Road Show, which aims to take sport into schools for special needs children. We had a pilot experience in January this year at Sherbourne Fields Special Ed School in Coventry. It was very well received by the school's children and teachers.
How long are the races?
These races start at 9am on the first Saturday of every month. The race day starts with circus warm up skills. The races start after a guided warm up and the event is finished by about 10am. There are six different distances that correspond to six different age groups: 0 to 2 year olds go first and run 50 metres, then 3 to 4 year olds run 100 metres, 5 to 6 year olds run 300 metres, 7 to 8s run 400 metres, the 9 to 10s run 500 meters and 7 to 16 year olds can run a kilometre.
Do you have any age restrictions? So is there a minimum and a maximum age?
There are no restrictions on age. Kids Run Free races are organised for children of all abilities between 0 and 16 years old. So kids can take part as soon as they can walk and the races accommodate children in wheelchairs as well. Our Love Sport Road Show is for children, and also for young adults, with disabilities.
Are the children’s race times logged onto your website so that, if they take part in other Kids Run Free events, they can chart their progress?
Yes, that is exactly why. Every child has a barcode that is scanned after a race and their results are logged into the Kids Run Free website on the same day. We think this way, children and their parents can monitor the children’s progress and hopefully this way get more enthusiastic and involved with Kids Run Free and sport in general.
How do you book onto a race?
It's very simple. Visit the Kids Run Free website: www.kidsrunfree.co.uk, enter your child or children's details, print his or her barcode and then bring this barcode to the event.
Are their races throughout the year?
Yes, the races take place every month throughout the year.
Why do you think it’s so important to get kids active?
We believe that active kids make healthier and happier children. Therefore, we believe it is very important to get children into sport as early as possible. Start young, stay fit!
Many thanks for talking to Support through Sport UK.