More than 10 000 children are expected to participate in the 2015 Youth Run, what has become an annual spectacle ahead of the Comrades Marathon, sponsored by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and KwaZulu-Natal Athletics.
The Youth Run comprises a 10km and 5Km run a day before the Comrades Marathon, this year being Saturday, May 30, 2015, starting at 08:30 at People’s Park at the Kings Park sports precinct in Durban. The 5km is open to kids from the age of nine and the 10km open to kids from age 14.
“The KZN Youth Run was conceptualised in 2010 to serve a dual purpose,” said KZN Athletics President Sello Mokoena.
“Firstly we wanted to introduce school children to the spirit and weekend of Comrades Marathon and, secondly, to introduce these children to the sport of athletics in general. We certainly hope that we will identify talent from this early age.”
Mokoena said it was especially gratifying to watch the event grow.
“Since it was first staged five years ago we have seen this race become an annual fixture on the sports calendar with mass participation from schools across the province. Last year more than 8 000 kids took part and we are confident of growing the race year on year. The Youth Run has become a fully-fledged international athletics competition with entries from a number of countries, especially from those Comrades Marathon participants who tend to bring their families along,” said Mokoena.
The title sponsor, since inception, is the KZN Department of Sport & Recreation, as part of its commitment to sports development in the province.
“We at the department of sport in KZN are focussed on providing opportunities to all children to be able to participate in sport,” said HOD in the department Rohini Naidoo.
“It therefore give us a great amount of pleasure and pride to see so many youngsters taking part. We know it will benefit them well into the future. Perhaps we will one day find the next world champion emerging from this event.”
The Association of International Distance and Marathons (AIMS) and the Comrades Marathon Association are associate sponsors of the Youth Run. Three of the provinces most prestigious and popular races, Comrades, Mandela Day and Maritzburg marathons are full members of AIMS.
Bulk KZN school entries are free with a nominal charge to cover administration costs for any other entries outside KwaZulu-Natal. Early bird entries are currently available at www.kznathletics.co.za with manual entries taken at KZN Athletics offices at King’s Park Athletics Stadium, where entries will be taken until 21:00 on Friday, May 29. No entries will be taken on race day.
In addition to facilitating the Youth Run in the lead up to the Comrades Marathon, KZN Athletics will also have a stand at the Comrades Marathon expo from Wednesday.