London Marathon Events (LME) is to host 7,000 children for next month’s TCS Mini London Marathon with a new initiative that will offer schools £10 for each one of their pupils who completes the race.
LME said it has an ambition to grow the event to 50,000 children by 2030. Following this year’s edition, which takes place one day before the TCS London Marathon on 1 October, the funding will be provided by sponsors TCS for the children to spend on PE or IT equipment.
The programme will feature one-mile and 2.6k events for children and young people of all abilities, from ages four to 17, over the final section of the TCS London Marathon course. The event will also feature the championship races for the UK’s top young runners, which were traditionally held on the Sunday morning.
The event follows the virtual TCS Mini London Marathon where children run 2.6 miles in their schools, with 600,000 children across the UK expected to register this year.
LME event director Hugh Brasher said, “Our children are in crisis with shocking statistics showing falling activity levels, increasing childhood obesity and mental health issues. We all know how getting active can improve physical and mental health and London Marathon Events is working with a range of partners to inspire children across the UK to get more active.
“Over the past four decades, the London Marathon has inspired millions of people to get active and transformed lives. Our vision is that the new TCS Mini London Marathon will do the same as it grows to the same size as the London Marathon, and in 2030 we will see 50,000 children involved in the mass event.
“On Sunday 1 October, there will be 7,000 children running, jogging, walking, pushing or skipping their way down The Mall. We hope that wonderful experience will be a day that inspires a lifetime of activity.
“I think Chris Brasher – my father – and John Disley, founders of the London Marathon, would be very proud.
“We would like to thank Westminster City Council, the Greater London Authority, The Royal Parks and TfL for their support for the new TCS Mini London Marathon.”