A London school boy is celebrating winning the Marathon Kids Child Role Model award after motivating his classmates – as well as his Dad – to get active this year.
Khalid Hamza Ahmed joined Berrymede Junior School in Acton just last September, but his strong appetite for learning and a desire to push himself and take on fresh challenges endeared him to his new teachers and other children in the school too.
Berrymede is one of the schools in London that takes part in the Marathon Kids programme, where children complete laps of a course or playground over the duration of the school year with the aim of running a cumulative full marathon – a distance of 42.2km. And many kids, including Khalid, go even further.
As he diligently went about completing his goal, Khalid earned certificates after 10km and 21.1km, inspiring many of his classmates with his determined attitude, regardless of conditions the great British weather could challenge him with.
Khalid’s Dad soon became involved with the 30-minute Tuesday morning Marathon Kids sessions too, and staff at the west London school soon saw an opportunity to strengthen ties with parents in the community by inviting others to join the Father-Son duo. Soon enough, large numbers of parents were lacing up their trainers and pulling up their socks every week to add to their growing tally as they pushed to complete a full marathon as well.
As well as motivating his school mates and their parents, Khalid amassed an incredible 68.9km before the lockdown period, more than a marathon and a half, helping to earn him the Marathon Kids Child Role Model award for 2019/20.
‘It has been fantastic to see the inspiration that a child can have on improving the wellbeing and health of a whole family,’ said Steven Cotton, Assistant Head at Berrymede. ‘This inspiration has now spread across our school in many formats be it fun running, personal challenges or competitive pairings. We look forward to next year’s Marathon Kids successes,’ he added.
‘We were so excited to hear about Khalid’s own Marathon Kids journey, and it was clear that he made a huge impact at school,’ said Martine Verweij, CEO of Kids Run Free, the parent company of Marathon Kids in the UK. ‘Starting at a new school can be hugely daunting, but we were thrilled to hear that he settled in so well and was able to motivate his new classmates – and their parents too – using Marathon Kids,’
Life in lockdown has been tough on families across the country, and the situation has been no different for Khalid, who has had to rely on his resilience and determination in different ways.
Hopefully when all children return to school in September, he can pick up where he left off and lead the way as pupils set off once more to complete their marathons and push themselves to go further than they have before.
Well done Khalid, and all at Berrymede!
INFORMATION: Would you like your school to join Khalid and thousands of other children just like him in Marathon Kids? Please visit www.kidsrunfree.co.uk to find out more.