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  • Northside East

Kids lap up praise after completing marathon 

Wednesday, 27th November, 2019 1:00pm
Kids lap up praise after completing marathon 

David Gillick, former Olympian and 400m European Champion, AnnMarie Farrelly, chief executive of Fingal County Council, Cllr Eoghan O’Brien, Mayor of Fingal and Jim Aughney, Dublin Marathon, at the last mile event in Santry.

Kids lap up praise after completing marathon 

David Gillick, former Olympian and 400m European Champion, AnnMarie Farrelly, chief executive of Fingal County Council, Cllr Eoghan O’Brien, Mayor of Fingal and Jim Aughney, Dublin Marathon, at the last mile event in Santry.

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OVER 5,500 primary school students attending Fingal, Dublin City and South Dublin primary schools were celebrating recently after completing a marathon.

As part of the MarathonKids Ireland Programme, the fifth and sixth class students from 87 schools completed 25.2 miles over eight weeks, training four times a week in school before completing the last mile at a specially organised one-mile event at Morton Stadium, Santry.

This is the fifth year of the programme, which sees former Olympian and 400m European Champion, David Gillick, and MarathonKids Ireland Ambassador working with Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dublin City Sport and Wellbeing Partnership and Dublin Marathon to promote the programme.

The students are supplied with a workbook, which highlights the benefits of sport and is used as both a training guide and learning tool for in classroom use. 

Over the years that the MarathonKids programme has taken place, it has seen the numbers grow from 800 students and 22 schools in 2015 to 5,500 students from 87 schools this year.

Inspired by a similar programme in the US, Fingal County Council Sports Officer Niall McGuirk and MarathonKids Ireland Director Neil Kennedy created a programme that combines four running sessions per week with a class workbook that links into the SPHE subject in the school curriculum.

The workbook highlights the benefits of sport and contribution to a child’s overall physical and mental wellbeing.

David Gillick visited schools in the council areas to talk about the programme and the importance of students being aware of the benefits of physical activity.

David praised the inclusive nature of the programme as being beneficial to children who don’t have an interest in sports but want to be active.

“As someone who was involved in all sports in school, I also appreciate that there were other kids who didn’t do as much activity,” he said.

“MarathonKids is open to everyone regardless of their ability and a fantastic opportunity for kids to get active.”

Mayor of Fingal Cllr Eoghan O’Brien, Fingal County Council chief executive AnnMarie Farrelly, Lord Mayor of Dublin Paul McAuliffe and Mayor of South Dublin County Council Vicki Casserly attended the event.” 

Members of the Fingal County Council sports team who played a key role in the programme’s success.   Some of the children pictured during their participation in the programme.  A great day was had by all at Morton Stadium.

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