Mumbai

Marathon for children prompts them to go outdoors

Running for a cause: The event which was held at MMRDA Grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex, saw children from the age of 5 to 15 participate in category-specific runs.

Running for a cause: The event which was held at MMRDA Grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex, saw children from the age of 5 to 15 participate in category-specific runs.  

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Mumbai Juniorthon also supports right to education for underprivileged children and environmental causes

Mumbai Juniorthon, India’s largest under-15 run, saw as many as 4,000 families participating for a healthier future on Sunday.

Held at MMRDA Grounds, Bandra Kurla Complex, the event saw children from the age of 5 to 15 participate in category-specific runs. This year, Juniorthon supported the ‘right to education’ for underprivileged children through its partnership with non-governmental organisation Ekal Yuva. Proceeds from the race would be donated to the organisation.

Bhavna Mehta, organiser and founder of Juniorthon, said it was designed specifically to encourage children to take up outdoor activities, “in a manner that combines physical and mental development while ensuring they enjoy the experience.”

Ms. Mehta said childhood obesity needs to be fought in the developmental years and a platform such as Juniorthon can help bring in behaviour change not only in the children but also in their families. “We strongly believe every child has the potential for greatness and at Juniorthon, we gave them the perfect opportunity to show, ‘superheroes where born at the finish line’.”

The Juniorthon founder said the strength within is a celebration of every child’s unique potential and at the fifth season of the event, the children were given a platform to express their superpower by wearing super runner tattoos or painting their face depicting it.

Juniorthon, along with ADAPT, a school for children with special needs, also organised a ‘Happy Run’ for specially-abled children. The special 0.5-km run saw participation in both wheelchair-based and non-wheelchair-based categories. Juniorthon also tied up with the NGO iVolunteer for a free workshop on seed bombing, where children made small bombs of vegetable and herb seeds that are fun to throw where they want to grow. Juniorthon also associated with Akhil Bhartiya Terapanth Yuvak Parishad, an NGO that works towards sustainable disposal and waste management to ensure zero waste for Mumbai Juniorthon 2019. There was also a Fun-Fitness Carnival, which hosted over 50 attractions in the form of of games, food, rides, fitness activities, workshops, and specially-curated shows.

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Shaina N.C. said, “It is great to see how an initiative to encourage children to take up outdoor activities has turned into a community event, raising awareness of childhood obesity and teamwork to bring families together to spend time with their children. I am amazed to see how these children motivate and help each other during the race.”

Although running is a competitive activity with timing and time chips being involved, Juniorthon decided to give recognition to every child who crossed the finish line by garlanding them with a finishers medal and a completion certificate.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 4:57:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/marathon-for-children-prompts-them-to-go-outdoors/article30143601.ece

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