Next kids on the blocks are here

Edwin  - CEO February 22, 2024
Updated 2024/02/23 at 5:30 PM
6 Min Read
Kids' Athletics was a hit in Glasgow (© Jeff Holmes Pix) World Athletics
Kids' Athletics was a hit in Glasgow (© Jeff Holmes Pix) World Athletics

Next generation try out Kids’ Athletics ahead of World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24



With only eight days to go until the start of the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24, local school children have today been given a unique opportunity to take part in a fun festival of athletics and, for some, get their first taste of the number one Olympic sport that offers something for everyone, World Athletics reports.


Kids’ Athletics is a free and exciting program created by World Athletics to get children and young people worldwide moving. The program uses the power of athletics to inspire children and young people, wherever they are, to be more active, develop their skills and confidence, and connect with the sport for life.


The Kids’ Athletics Day will take place at Haghill Primary School, only a stone’s throw away from the competition venue, known as the ‘Emirates Arena,’ where world champions will be crowned. The day will allow local children to immerse themselves in the sport. They will participate in adapted athletics events to develop core skills, including the standing long jump, speed bounds, seated ball throw, and group relay challenges.


The pupils will be given a scorecard to record their efforts, the focus being on the individual, and their only competition is with themselves.


Bringing together 190 children between the ages of eight and ten, six local schools (Haghill Primary School, Alexandra Parade Primary School, Golfhill Primary School, Carntyne Primary School, Barmulloch Primary School, St Denise Primary School) will be involved in the program, to create new pathways into the sport through collaboration with local community-driven initiatives.


One such local initiative is the Dennistoun Community Sports Club (DCSH), which works with Glasgow Life and Sportscotland to support the community and increase engagement in sports and physical activity.


Already involved with the renowned local athletics club – Shettleston Harriers, the DACSH aims to offer a pathway to young individuals into the sport. It is hoped this event will help to uncover some of Scotland’s new athletics stars, following in the footsteps of local icons Laura Muir, Jemma Reekie, and Josh Kerr, who will compete at the arena when the World Indoor Championships come to the city next month.


The program will also be supported by sports leaders from Whitehill Secondary School, Whitehill, as the event gives young adults a chance to build their leadership skills with support from organizers Glasgow Life and World Athletics’ Kids Athletics Programme.


Bailie Annette Christie, Glasgow City Council Convener for Culture, Sport and International Relations and Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “When events such as the World Athletics Indoor Championships come to Glasgow, it’s not just about the world stars, but about using the event as a catalyst to involve local youngsters and allow them to benefit from such a monumental occasion.


“With the championships taking place in Glasgow’s east end, we’re keen to ensure as many local youngsters as possible get an introduction to the sport and are signed up for longer-term opportunities to stay involved.


“With three fantastic Scottish athletes now confirmed as competing at the world indoors, I hope this program can help inspire the next generation of Scots, ensuring we have new heroes to cheer on in the future. Linking this program with already well-established community sports initiatives means we can make a real impact in Glasgow, and I can’t wait to see the legacy it creates in the years to come.”


Former Scottish track and field star and Event Ambassador Eilidh Doyle, who also trained as a PE teacher, added: “Athletics has such a varied range of running, jumping, and throwing events, as well as being the core skills of so many other sports, it does offer something for everyone.


“It is great seeing all these youngsters getting the opportunity to have a go today and, more importantly, being connected with people and places where they can continue to develop their interest in the sport.


“Athletics is about having fun, and it has been great to see all the smiley faces here today, cheered on by the event mascot, Scottee, who was having his warm-up for the championships!”


The session drew to a close with refreshments kindly provided for the pupils by the Official Event Supporter, SPAR Scotland. Paula Middleton, Head of Marketing, SPAR Scotland, said: “SPAR Scotland is delighted to support this Kids’ Athletics Day in Glasgow. We work with schools the length and breadth of Scotland to encourage primary school children to adopt a healthy lifestyle from a very early age. Supporting this event is another step on that journey.”


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