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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > April 2012 > Children Run With the Stars!

Children Run With the Stars!

CHILDREN RUN WITH THE STARS

Young people from lower, middle, upper and special schools from across the borough flocked to Bedford Park, on Monday 23rd April, to take part in a once in a lifetime opportunity – to run alongside world class Kenyan athletes, Philip Langat and Shadrack Kosgei. The athletes were making a fleeting visit to the U.K in order to take part in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon.

 

The event, organised by the Kenyan Community and Bedford Borough Council, witnessed approximately 600 children, across the day, jogging alongside the renowned athletes, to “run a Golden Mile” around the park. The Council’s Sports Development Team had been working with 24 borough schools, over a ten week period, in order to prepare them for the occasion.

 

Also present on the day were a host of local sports professionals and personalities, including octogenarian runner Iva Barr, who has been selected to carry the Olympic Torch through Bedford on the 8th July; she has already started practicing, running with her arm in the air!

 

The marathon runners and Kenyan Community had established a close relationship with Bedford since 2010, when the Kenya Athletics Kenya Chairman, Isaiah Kiplagat, and Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Bedford and Kenya following a week-long visit to Bedford by a group of world-renowned athletes. The agreement advanced educational, cultural, business and sporting ties.

 

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "We were extremely fortunate to host these inspirational athletes in Bedford the day after the London Marathon, and huge credit is due to Kenyan Community Bedford and to all the staff and volunteers on the day for making it all happen for the children. It was fantastic to see so many children and young people from schools across the Borough enjoying the event. Many of them had watched these fantastic athletes on the television just the day before, and then found themselves running alongside them the very next day. I am sure it was an experience that will stay with them for a long time, and I want to give special thanks to all of the athletes and sportspeople who gave their time and enthusiasm to help make it a great day for so many youngsters.”

 

The Chairman of the Kenyan Community in Bedford, Jack Waiyaki, said marathon runners and the Athletic Kenya officials had agreed to take part in the community event, so as to help enthuse young people and increase their participation in physical activities and sports.

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