Meath children are racing to prove they’re the fittest in Ireland by signing up for the SPAR Great Ireland Run.
50 Meath children have already signed up for the April 6th race in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, joining 12,000 other runners and their families for an event that is both a highlight of the athletics calendar and a great family day out.
With two races especially for children, kids of all ages and levels of fitness can get involved. The SPAR Mini Great Ireland Runis heldfor 3-8 year olds over a 1.6k course, where adults can accompany each child if they wish. For older children and teenagers the SPAR Junior Great Ireland Run, for 9 to 15 year olds, covers a longer distance of 2.5k.
With childhood obesity on the rise in Ireland, one of the easiest and most cost effective ways for children to become more active is by getting involved in athletics from an early age. According to independent research, Ireland’s levels of childhood obesity are among the highest in Europe – worryingly, one in four Irish children are overweight or obese. HSE data puts this at 300,000 children currently, and this figure is rising by 10,000 a year.
Willie O’Byrne, Managing Director of BWG Foods (owners and operators of the SPAR brand in Ireland) said he hopes the SPAR Great Ireland Run will encourage more children to get up and get active. Willie said, “We always have a fantastic turn out in both our children’s events, the SPAR Mini Great Ireland Run and the SPAR Junior Great Ireland Run, and we’re really hoping that continues this year. SPAR has a proud tradition of supporting athletics, and we’re delighted to keep flying the flag for the most important Irish athletes of all in 2014 – the sporting heroes of the future.”
The SPAR Great Ireland Run is the only race in Ireland to be recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the world governing body of athletics. The event is one of twenty-two races in the world to receive an IAAF Road Race Silver Label in recognition of the event’s high standard of organisation, elite participation and media profile.
Entries for all events are available at www.greatirelandrun.org