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Eveque and Save the Children's World Marathon Challenge becomes the world's largest running event
The World Marathon Challenge in aid of World Food Day became the largest children's running event ever staged when 20,000 children from 500 schools in 45 countries competed to beat Patrick Makau’s world record of 2 hours, 3 minutes and 38 seconds.
The aim was both to achieve a sporting best by beating the 2011 world marathon record and to tackle one of the worst injustices in the world - the plight of the millions of children currently going hungry.
The event was supported by a galaxy of celebrity sporting stars including Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farrah who had himself suffered hunger as a young boy in his native Somalia, whilst David Cameron hosted a Hunger Summit to highlight to the world the need for political action to end the scourge of malnutrician.
The event was the brainchild of George Bunner, MBE, whose influence on sport in schools remains as great today as it was over 30 years ago when he founded Sportshall Athletics. The Sportshall programme has evolved over the years and now forms a major part of the Athletics component of the National Schools Competition Framework.
The Sportshall programme provides a highly enjoyable way for young people to try running, jumping and throwing activities as their first steps into athletics. It gives children their first taste of fun and excitement of track and field events in a safe environment, often in areas where the lack of facilities or the weather prevents traditional outdoor activity.
Eveque Sportshall continues to prosper and their programmes have become the sporting standard for youngsters from the ages of 4 - 16 for skills, awards and competition in schools.