Marathon effort for schoolchildren

By on 06/07/2009 in News

Young Poet Laureate Megan Bradbury is urging Birmingham schoolchildren to get creative and make their mark when Birmingham plays host to the 18th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in October.

But youngsters only have until Friday (July 10) to enter two competitions offe3ring the chance to play a part in the prestigious event:

A poetry competition based around the theme 'running'

The winning poems will be featured in the official event programme which every athlete will receive upon their arrival to the city as well being published elsewhere including on the official website.  There are three age categories for entrants - under sevens, seven to eleven year olds and eleven to 18 year olds.

“This is a great chance for children to get their thinking caps on and get creative.  Poetry can be very inspiring and the winning poems might just prove to be something that the athletes respond to before they run.  The kilometre marker artwork can also be something that makes this a memorable race for all those involved as they count down the kilometres to the end of the race,” said Megan.

An art competition to design one of the 20 official kilometre markers

These markers are essential for the athletes to judge the distance during the race and time their runs accordingly.  The winning entries will be printed onto a weatherproof board and will be fixed to the kilometre point posts along the course route.  Not only will these be seen by the elite athletes but also the participants of the EDF Energy Birmingham Half Marathon which takes place later on the same day.

Every school in Birmingham has been sent an application pack but anyone interested who does not have a pack at school can contact Adam Snelleksz on 0121 464 2012.  The closing date for both competitions is Friday 10th July.

Councillor Martin Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, said “The 18th IAAF World Half Marathon Championships is an event that the whole city can be a part of either through watching or volunteering and these competitions provide an opportunity for local children to get involved in a unique way. 

“Not only will people get to see the world's best runners on their doorstep but through the poems and the kilometre markers, local children can actually help to inspire and leave an impression on these athletes.”

More than 200 runners from 50 countries will be in Birmingham on Sunday 11 October to compete in the Championships and Birmingham schoolchildren have been invited to get involved and contribute to the event before the 10 July closing date.  The two competitions are a poetry competition based around the theme 'running' and an art competition to design one of the 20 official kilometre markers.

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