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AIMS Children's Series

The growing realisation of running as a common cause throughout the world has led to many links being established between races, for which AIMS provides a forum. Organising this more formally, around particular issues, can capture the attention of a wider public. With this in mind, AIMS launched the Children’s Series at the beginning of 2006 to assist selected member races in promoting running among children.

AIMS President Hiroaki Chosa said “Many great athletes have often emerged against great adversity. We are seeking to encourage more young children to follow their dreams and to aim for a healthy life.” The member races involved in this pilot project were the Sahara Marathon in Algeria, the Kathmandu Peace Run in Nepal and the Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababa.

The intention was to support races in poorer countries since a number of big international races in wealthier countries had already developed children’s races alongside their own events.




AIMS Children's Series 2016


The first AIMS Children’s Series race of 2016 was held on 24 January in the village of Khanivali, 80km north of Mumbai, the first time the Series has ever hosted an event in India. Just under 500 children from the Anand Laxman Chandavarkar Vidhyalay secondary school participated in a 4km fun run. AIMS launched the Children’s Series in 2006 to assist selected member races in promoting running among children in areas of need.

The school, attended by children from mainly farming families, hosted boys’ and girls’ races for the eighth, ninth and tenth grades. The children raced over a traffic-free out-and-back 4km course on mainly tarmac road. The gently downhill first kilometre to the bridge over the river made for some fast starts. The girls’ races were set off five minutes after the boys so that there was only limited overlap and the interval between age groups was sufficient to allow almost all the field to have completed before the next race followed. All completed the course and some with impressive timings, the fastest of the day being 14 minutes 27 seconds. Comprehensive chip-timed results were available following the race.

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There was a good incentive to run fast as the first three in each category – 18 in all -were awarded with bicycles and a pair of branded running shoes. AIMS Secretary Hugh Jones attended and assisted with the prize giving. All those who ran received probably the most goody-laden finisher bag ever offered anywhere: the bag itself was a canvas school backpack and it contained a blanket, cap, water bottle, pens, crayons, notebook and maths instruments as well as a skipping rope and two rubber balls packets of food and toiletries. And that wasn’t all: along with the finishers’ medals and certificates everyone received a personal Fuji Instamax Polaroid of them with their medal, an analogue watch, a pair of canvas shoes (the children had been individually measured up the previous week) and two pairs of socks.

Race director Amit Sheth, who had recruited an organising team including the school staff, members of the Inner Wheel Club of Bombay Sea Coast, the Borivali National Park Green Runners from north Mumbai and a wide range of family and friends, was pleased with how the race went.

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The other 2016 AIMS Children’s Series events are scheduled to take place in Ecuador and South Africa.

AIMS Secretary Hugh Jones comments: “I am delighted that I was able to attend this Children’s Series event and see first-hand the great work that has been done on behalf of the children here.”
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AIMS Co-ordinator of the Children’s Series Martha Morales comments: “We are delighted to begin the 2016 AIMS Children’s Series in a new location in India. We look forward to an even bigger and better event next year.”

AIMS President Paco Borao comments: “We would like to thank the organising committee for their excellent efforts in organising such a successful Children’s Series event. We are gratified to see how much joy this event has created among the children who participated.”

AIMS Children's Series 2014



AIMS Children's Series 2013


The AIMS Children's Series race held on 3 August in Asuncion proved stiff competition for the title event, the Maraton International de Asuncion held the following day writes AIMS President Paco Borao.1500 children from the age of six to 16 filled the Ñu Guazu Park in the biggest ever running festival held in Paraguay.
This was the first such event to be held in the country, financially supported by AIMS, and organized by the Paraguay Marathon Club (PMC) with the cooperation of the Foundation Dequení and several private groupings. It was a great success for all, and primarily for the PMC, who were of course also responsible for organizing the Maraton Internacional de Asunción the following day.
In the early morning dozens of buses transported the children from different regions of the country, to participate in the races organized by age groups. The enormous success achieved was because of the further support of the many parties involved: parents, relatives, teachers, organisers, supportive media coverage, which all helped to create the successful sporting and social fiesta.
From the beginning of the races the yellow AIMS T-shirts stood out, and the treasured medals for having completed the distances set for the different age groups were received with great excitement by the children. Local sponsors offered games, food and drinks, helping to complete a journey which will be long remembered by all those who were witness to this first AIMS Children’s Race in Asunción.

Thanks to all who attended and made it possible, under the coordination of Myrta Doldán and Marcelo Ithurralde, President and Vice-president of the PMC.

AIMS Children's Series 2012


Durban, South Africa

The first edition of the AIMS Children's Series to be held in South Africa took place in Durban on 2 June 2012. Organised by the Comrades Marathon Association with the support of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport & Recreation, it was the third event of the 2012 series.

The event had an international flavour as part of the AIMS Children’s Series and drew enthusiasm from the various school districts of KZN. Participants were transported by bus from as far as 200km away from Durban. Over 5000 children completed the 10km and 5 km races respectively.

The race was attended by provincial and national government officials. Miss South Africa, Melinda Bam, assisted with the prize-giving ceremony after the race. The children were very proud of their medals: every finisher received a medal, and every entrant a T-shirt.

The Comrades Marathon Association used the race to highlight the importance of creating opportunities for youth to participate in accessible road races so as to build the culture of physical activity and organized sport in the community. Staging this race in South Africa has elevated the CMA and AIMS as important partners in children’s sport in South Africa.

AIMS would like to thank the sponsors who made the race possible: ASICS, OPAP and the TOKYO MARATHON FOUNDATION. Thanks are further extended to all the AIMS membership who contribute to the care of children by promoting the sport of running

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

The second edition of the AIMS Children's Series to be held in Tanzania took place on 21 April 2012, starting and finishing at the Tushikamane Care secondary school in the Tabata County district of Dar Es Salaam.

The under-13 girls opened proceedings, followed 15 minutes later by the under-13 boys. The under-17 races followed. There were 400 runners, all orphans and children living in difficulty, recruited from schools around the locality. They ran in under-17 and under-13 age categories for both boys and girls. Boys wore blue round neck AIMS t-shirts and girls wore white round neck AIMS t-shirts.
After the race the children were provided with refreshments and served a buffet lunch. The event was coordinated between Infosol Tanzania and Tushikamane Children’s Care Trust Fund. The organizing team involved 20 teachers recruited from all nine schools involved, 2 nurses, 10 Traffic police, 10 security personnel and 2 doctors.
Every participant was awarded a medal provided by AIMS, the first 3 winners of each category were acknowledged and awarded an extra gift of school equipment.

 AIMS would like to thank the sponsors who made this extraordinary race possible: ASICS, OPAP and the TOKYO MARATHON FOUNDATION. Thanks are further extended to all the AIMS membership who contribute to the care of children by promoting the sport of running.

The Children's Series events are helping to bring unity to the world through a common language: that of “RUNNING”.  This experience will last forever in the hearts of the children and the sport of running will become part of their lives.


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