UK Sport and Save the Children use Olympic legacy to address issues around hungerSubscribe
Grace Cullen 22 October 2012
UK Sport teamed up with international charity Save the Children and local partners to lead the Race Against Hunger campaign in Mozambique to mark World Food Day on 16 October 2012.
Over 20,000 children ran in World Marathon Challenge events taking place in 45 different countries, including Mozambique and the UK, to raise awareness of global hunger. The opportunity to take part in the international event - now the biggest children’s running event in the world – builds on the training school teachers in Mozambique received, through the London 2012 international sports legacy programme, International Inspiration.
The foundations for athletics were laid by the Kids Athletics programme, which was delivered by the International Associations Athletics Federations (IAAF) as part of International Inspiration, which was implemented in partnership with UK Sport, UNICEF and the British Council.
With every team of 30 children racing a full marathon (42.195km) as a relay in 200m stages, children around the world ran with a common goal – to use sport as a platform to raise awareness of the problem which affects the world’s poorest populations.
This partnership between UK Sport and Save the Children builds not only on the Olympic legacy to increase the use of sport to achieve development objectives, but also to strengthen the involvement of government organisations in this process. The Ministry of Education in Mozambique has chaired the workforce driving this pilot project in collaboration with national organisations, ranging from community grassroots NGOs to schools.
Luisa, 12, was introduced to athletics through PE lessons at her school and thanks to the Kids Athletics programme, running is her favourite sport.
She said: “I love running so much. It makes me feel so good and I can do it anywhere – at school, in my free time, anywhere. Our teachers taught us how to run and jump but my favourite thing is running. In our PE lessons and preparing for the World Marathon Challenge, we have learned how to take off, about the countdown and the signal to start. And very importantly we learned how to give and take the baton, using different hands”.
Chair of the cross-Government workforce leading the event in Mozambique, Maria Glória Miambo, said the event adds to the tremendous momentum to the legacy left by the Olympic Games.
She said: “The Ministry has been working hard to help improve the quality of Physical Education available to young children so that they can gain increased opportunities to develop through sport and other areas too. World Marathon Challenge is a great event for children to learn about and unite against hunger - one of the world’s greatest problems – and health, by getting fit through physical activity.”
Debbie Lye, Director of International Development at UK Sport, believes the partnership is a strong testament to the power of sport as a development vehicle.
She said: “This new partnership is a brilliant example of the way sport can raise awareness of important global issues such as hunger while developing the leadership capacity of young people. UK Sport is proud to see our existing partners in Mozambique engaging so positively with Save the Children in the World Marathon Challenge.”
Mike Summers, World Marathon Challenge Project Manager for Save the Children, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with UK Sport to introduce the World Marathon Challenge to Mozambique.
“Together we are helping to realise a powerful legacy of the London 2012 Games around the world: children inspired to do sport, children calling on world leaders to end world hunger.
“We hope that our joint work in Mozambique can form the template for similar projects throughout the world".
To find out more about Save the Children’s World Marathon Challenge visit: