World Athletics Member Federations (MFs), athletics clubs, and people across the globe have kicked off celebrations ahead of Kids’ Athletics Day on Sunday 7 May.
Celebrations are getting underway in Australia and New Zealand in the next 24 hours and will continue around the globe as Kids’ Athletics Day arrives.
Athletics Australia and its Member Associations are joining in on the fun throughout the month with a number of initiatives in each State and Territory, and with a campaign to showcase athletics as a fun way for kids to get active.
New Zealand will celebrate Kids’ Athletics Day with an under-12 mile race, held as part of a weekend of running events alongside the Rotorua Marathon.
In China, a range of physical activities and social media engagement activities are taking place throughout the month of May. The planned events are targeting over 4,000 children at in-person events and 250,000 on social media.
Athletics India has just completed two Kids’ Athletics practitioner workshops with over 50 new Kids’ Athletics coaches and teachers educated in the new Kids’ Athletics Programme. Most practitioners are hosting Kids’ Athletics Day events in their districts with over 20 districts and 2,500 children taking part. Athletics India have also set up a Kids’ Athletics India social media page to share the event details.
In Latvia, home of the World Athletics Road Running Championships this year, the Rimi Riga Marathon’s two-day programme will kick off with Kids’ Day, which, with the support of the Latvian Olympic Committee, is called ‘Olympic Kids’ Day’. On 6 May, Olympic Kids’ Day will kick off at the Freedom Monument and will allow even the youngest participants and families to experience the joy of movement. They are expecting approximately 5,500 children to participate.
In the USA, elite sprinters Noah and Josephus Lyles participated in the Atlanta Track Club’s kid programme last night, while in town for the Atlanta City Games. The brothers took part in some running and other fun activities with kids and spoke to them about the importance of playing and being active for kids’ development and wellbeing.
World 200m champion Noah said: “Learning how to play is a skill. It teaches you how to share and enjoy each other’s time, how to share ideas and how to interact with other people which is so important today.
“For me, running is a fundamental part of being human and being a kid. As a kid, sport taught me core principles such as perseverance and responsibility and taught me how to network and navigate through life.
“Activities such as what we are doing here today are important to provide a safe space for kids to play and be themselves. My brother and I created our Sports Foundation in 2021 in an effort to provide kids with what they need to succeed and a caring and safe environment to grow”.
USA Track and Field and the Bermuda Games will join forces later this month to put on a Run Jumps Throw Clinic, for kids aged 5-17.
In South America, Athletics Chile is encouraging schools, clubs, and community groups to get involved in Kids’ Athletics Day throughout May by creating a School Challenge, Club Challenge, and Community Challenge that mimic the terms of the World Athletics Member Federation Challenge. Each challenge winner will win a one-time $100,000 (Chilean Peso) Kids’ Athletics Challenge prize to be used to promote and activate Kids’ Athletics in their school, club, or in their community.
Get involved at home and on social media
Last month, World Athletics released a ‘Kids’ Athletics Day at home’ toolkit for children around the world who wish to take part in Kids’ Athletics Day 2023 but who may not have access to an organised Kids’ Athletics Day activity. It provides all the basics to get moving including:
- Activity cards with instructions on how to stage an obstacle course, air bowling and ‘flying saucers’
- A ‘design your own spikes’ template for kids to make their dream spikes
- An activity pyramid with different running, jumping and balancing challenges
The ‘Kids’ Athletics Day at home’ toolkit can easily be printed off at home or at school so that kids can get active in their own backyards, with their friends, in the playground at school – or wherever they can practice sport safely.
On social media, World Athletics will be sharing photos of people, events and organisations across the world who have joined us to celebrate Kids’ Athletics Day. We invite everyone taking part in the day’s events, whether through a club or organisation, at school, or at home, to share images from their own celebrations using the hashtag #KidsAthleticsDay.
Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible, and to reach as many children as we can across the globe to get them moving! – WORLD ATHLETICS