Tuesday, 27 November 2012

‘Start Young, Stay Fit for winter’

 ’Don’t fall at the final hurdle!’’

Kids Run Free Winter Campaign 

2012 has undoubtedly been a year of success for British sport. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games gripped the nation in ways we have not seen in a very long time. Our athletes did us proud, and even our politicians scrubbed up well! The government’s ‘Olympic Legacy’ has sought to encourage more of us to take up weekly exercise routines and make us think more generally about the way we live. So far, this has been implemented well. Parents across the country are taking positive steps towards improving the health of their children, but childhood obesity levels in the UK are still worrying. According to figures from numerous studies into the issue, over 25% of the British population are classed as obese. Of that number, 27% of children are classed as overweight or obese, and if current trends continue, an alarming 66% of children will suffer from the condition by 2050! To reverse this trend, we strongly believe that by educating children from a pre-school age, we can set them off to the best possible start in life and help bring these concerning figures down.

Despite the great steps that have been taken this year, there is one last obstacle in the way, and it’s a big one. Winter 2012 is just around the corner and we all know what that means. School holidays, cold weather and of course, Christmas. A combination of sweets, chocolates, cakes and cookies, mixed with more free time spells disaster for the nation’s health in the months of December and January. If we allow 2012 to be yet another year that upholds this rule, not only do we negate the hard work we’ve all put in, but we set ourselves off to the worst possible start come January, no matter how sincerely we take on new year’s resolutions.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Kids Run Free are determined to buck the national trend and make 2012 our most successful winter yet.  We are asking all our regular attendees, and plenty of new recruits to brave the weather and make our free running races a cornerstone of their Christmas celebrations. School and work may be over for most, but we are still here, doing what we do best and encouraging children to ‘Start Young, Stay Fit!’ To assist in maintaining the overall enjoyment and attraction of our events, we will be handing out a free Christmas cracker as well as the usual organic fruit and vouchers.

So, why not check out our upcoming events and make Kids Run Free and Raceways events a part of your Christmas celebrations this year and start your new year’s resolutions early!

November/December/January Events with Kids Run Free and Raceways

Coming up in November and December, Kids Run Free and Raceways will be running events, bringing our ‘Start Young, Stay Fit’ message to all our regulars and new visitors. These include:

Kids Run Free Events in Stratford, Leamington, Coventry, Birmingham, Solihull and Leicester, 1st December 2012 at 9am - see website for details

Raceways Christmas Cracker, Moreton Morrell (Warwickshire College grounds) 8th December 2012 at 11am (Kids fun run at 10.15am) 

Kids Run Free Event in Stratford, Leamington, Coventry, Birmingham, Solihull and Leicester, 5th January 2012 at 9am - see website for details

Money raised from Raceways events goes towards Kids Run Free, so turn up and support a great cause!

Kids Run Free representatives are available for radio interviews to discuss all our upcoming events. We have previously appeared in three radio interviews including one with BBC Coventry and Warwickshire. These can be arranged by contacting us at media@kidsrunfree.co.uk or calling our office on: 07711349592

How to donate

Kids Run Free pride ourselves on being one of the few organisations that focus our attention on children from the very beginning of their lives. Our events are open to children up to the age of 16, with a particular focus on the pre-school years, which makes the work we do vitally important for early development. We will be fighting to keep the numbers up throughout the winter months, and as ever we depend on the great work of our volunteers and the very charitable donations coming through to us via Virgin Money Giving. To donate to us and support the cause, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/giving/ and search for Kids Run Free. 

The effects of childhood obesity

At Kids Run Free we are driven by our concern about the growing health concerns in Children. Childhood obesity is a real concern in the UK. Not only is obesity a massive strain on the nation’s health service, costing us approximately £2billion a year, it has been shown to dramatically reduce people’s lives. Some health experts are starting to argue that we could see parents outliving their children if current trends persist. 

Some studies, most notably from the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, are showing that an increasing number of parents are failing to recognise that their children are obese. 33% of mums, and 57% of dads would class their child’s weight as ‘about right’, when in fact they were medically proven to be either overweight or obese.

Obesity in children has been linked to numerous health problems that they will either develop as children, or grow up to develop later in life. Heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes are the most common diseases that more and more children are likely to suffer from.  

As well as the health risks, obesity can lead to low self-esteem which could develop into depression and a desire to self harm. It’s unfortunate that bullying is still as common as it ever has been in the UK and being overweight is one of the most popular reasons for bullies to target their victims. 

The benefits of regular exercise at an early age

It’s no secret that children are more receptive to learning. The first years of a child’s life are the optimal period in which to teach them numeracy and literacy skills as well as the key differences between healthy and unhealthy living. Children who eat their vegetables and exercise at an early age are far more likely to continue these habits as they grow up, and it stands to reason that the opposite is true for those who aren't introduced to the healthy lifestyle. 

What is ‘Christmas Weight’?

‘Christmas’, or ‘holiday weight’ is a phenomenon that the vast majority of us are effected by. The main contributing factor seems to be that Christmas is seen as a time of indulgence. The Food Standards Agency suggests that the average person will consume 7000 calories on Christmas day alone!

We’ve all said at least once in our lives ‘I’ll start losing weight after Christmas’. This implies that losing weight isn’t as fun as over eating. It suggests that we are putting off some kind of punishment until after we’re done having fun. Kids Run Free believe that children should grow up with the idea that even in the cold winter months, exercise doesn’t need to be sacrificed for over eating. A few hours of exercise a week over the school holidays can make everyone feel that much better about feasting on the Christmas goodies later in the day.  

Tips for avoiding Christmas weight...

The Food Standards Agency offers some helpful tips on how to stay eating healthy over the Christmas period. Here are some of the main points and a few of our own ideas thrown in

Striking the right balance - We all know that convincing kids not to eat chocolate and cakes over the Christmas period is pretty much a no-go area. But, this doesn’t mean we can’t still maintain a balance between fats and fruits. Christmas dinner is always a good opportunity to sneak some vegetables in with the turkey and stuffing. There are plenty of resources online with some suggestions on how to prepare your vegetables on the big day.

Get a good breakfast in - Giving children a filling breakfast is always a good way to stop them snacking in between meals later on in the day. This helpful rule is probably as important as ever over the holiday period what with all the extra snacks lying around the place.

Remind them that Santa is coming - Why not use the old Santa Clause story to your advantage this year by informing the little ones that people who eat their vegetables go straight into Santa’s good books.  

New Year’s Resolutions - Remember, after Christmas comes New Year, a time for reflection and self assessment. Doing more exercise is one of the most common resolutions that people make, along with eating healthier and stopping smoking. 

While this is a very useful tradition to stick to, Kids Run Free will be encouraging our participants to think about it a little earlier this year. After all, the best way to follow through on a resolution is to stick with it during those times of temptation.  

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Shakespeare Raceway half marathon

Raceways held yet another great event on Saturday 17th November, and once again all the profits were donated to Kids Run Free. 650 entrants descended on the Long Marston Airfield to tackle the Shakespeare Raceway half marathon, 5k, or 10k run. The little ones were kept entertained with a Kids Fun Run that took place at the beginning of the day. 

The winners were as follows:

5k Karen Robertson and Micheal Beard
10k Caroline Harlon - Marks  and Stuart Spencer
Half Marathon Elena James  and Jonathon Folland

All of our runners were well looked after thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. Runbreeze donated prizes for the winners and held a stall during the day, whilst Riverford Organic provided lots of fresh fruit to keep our runners going. Tesco and Asda chipped in by providing us with chocolates. 

The ASDA team with their goodies

Our wonderful volunteers were rewarded for all their hard work with a delicious lunch provided by Simon and Hardip from ASDA Leamington. Thank you very much guys!

All of us at Kids Run Free and Raceways hope you had a great day, and if you missed out, why not sign up for one of the upcoming events at www.raceways.eu?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Brand New Locations!

Hi everyone,

Things got busy at our last Race Day. On Saturday 4th November we were honoured to welcome the Mayor Keith Lloyd and his wife Elaine to the official launch of our fifth location in Stratford. It took a lot of work from all of us in the office to get the Stratford location up and running, so,despite the rain, we all soldiered on to celebrate the launch. There were brollies and ponchos galore!

The Mayor and his wife
Braving the rain!
Getting a helping hand...

We’re also excited to announce that we will be launching at a brand new location on December 1st! Kids Run Free will be coming to Braunstone Park in Leicester. So, if you live near Leicester, register and come along! The event has been been made possible by the Co-op Community Fund Award which we were delighted to be granted.

This is where you, our loyal KRF members, come into action. Kids Run Free is a community grass roots organisation, and we need people like YOU to help out at our events. So get involved! Any sort of helping hand, however frequent, or infrequent, will be much appreciated. There are all sorts of things that need doing on a race day, from taking photos, to helping out with the warm ups. Plus, as our events are only held once a month, it won't be too much of a drain on your busy schedules. If you’re interested then drop an email to info@kidsrunfree.co.uk and we’ll be in touch.

We can’t wait to see you at our next race day, and now that there are a staggering SIX locations to choose from, there's no excuses for not coming along!