Next generation try out Kids' Athletics ahead of World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24

Next generation try out Kids' Athletics ahead of World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24

With only eight days to go until the start of the World Athletics Indoor Championships, local school children have been given a unique opportunity to take part in a fun festival of athletics, and for some get their first taste of the number one Olympic sport that offers something for everyone.

Kids’ Athletics is a free and exciting programme created by World Athletics to get children and young people across the world moving. The programme uses the power of athletics to inspire children and young people, wherever they are, to be more active, develop their skills and confidence, and to connect with the sport for life.

The Kids’ Athletics day took place at Haghill Primary School, only a stone’s throw away from the competition venue, known as the 'Emirates Arena', where world champions will be crowned. The day offered local children the chance to immerse themselves in the sport, participating in a series of adapted athletics events to develop core skills, including the standing long jump, speed bounds, seated ball throw and group relay challenges.

The pupils were given a score card to record their own efforts, the focus being on the individual and their only competition is with themselves.

Bringing together 190 children between the age of eight and ten, six local schools (Haghill Primary School, Alexandra Parade Primary School, Golfhill Primary School, Carntyne Primary School, Barmulloch Primary School, St Denise Primary School) were involved in the programme, with the aim of creating new pathways into the sport through collaboration with local community driven initiatives.

One such local initiative is the Dennistoun Community Sports Club (DCSH), which works in association with Glasgow Life and sportscotland to support the community and increase engagement in sport and physical activity.

Already involved with renowned local athletics club - Shettleston Harriers, the DACSH aims to offer a pathway to young individuals into sport and it is hoped this event will help to uncover some of Scotland’s new athletics stars, following in the footsteps of local icons Laura Muir, Jemma Reekie and Josh Kerr who will compete at the arena when the World Indoor Championships come to the city next month.

The programme will also be supported by sports leaders from Whitehill secondary school, Whitehill, as the event gives young adults the chance to build their leadership skills with support from organisers Glasgow Life and World Athletics’ Kids Athletics Programme.

Bailie Annette Christie, Glasgow City Council Convener for Culture, Sport and International Relations and Chair of Glasgow Life said:

When events such as the World Athletics Indoor Championships come to Glasgow, it’s not just about the world stars, but about using the event as a catalyst to involve local youngsters and give them an opportunity to benefit from such a huge occasion.

With the championships taking place in Glasgow’s east end, we’re keen to ensure as many local youngsters as possible get an introduction to the sport and are signposted to longer term opportunities to stay involved.

With three fantastic Scottish athletes now confirmed as competing at the world indoors, I hope that this programme can help to inspire the next generation of Scots, ensuring we have new heroes to cheer on in the future. Linking this programme with already well-established community sports initiatives means we can make a real impact in Glasgow, and I can’t wait to see the legacy it creates in the years to come.

Former Scottish track and field star and Event Ambassador, Eilidh Doyle, who also trained as a PE teacher added:

Athletics has such a varied range of running, jumping and throwing events, as well as being the core skills of so many other sports, it really does offer something for everyone.

It is great seeing all these youngsters getting the opportunity to have a go today and more importantly being connected with people and places where they can continue to develop their interest in the sport.

Athletics is about having fun and it has been great to see all the smiley faces here today, cheered on by the event mascot Scottee, who was having his own warm-up for the championships!

The session drew to a close with refreshments kindly provided for the pupils by Official Event Supporter, SPAR Scotland. Paula Middleton, Head of Marketing, SPAR Scotland said:

SPAR Scotland is delighted to support this Kids’ Athletics day in Glasgow. We work with schools the length and breadth of Scotland encouraging primary school children to adopt a healthy lifestyle from a very early age. Supporting this event is another step on that journey.