Madras Round Table 94 packed in quite a punch on Sunday morning, bringing together over 2000 enthusiastic kids in one of the largest kids run in the country on 9th August 2015 at the second edition of Chennai Kidathon- a highly successful fitness event. Chennai Kidathon is run exclusively for children (3-14 years) that distinguishes itself from a race or a marathon, and promotes fitness amongst kids in a non-competitive, fun environment. As all proceeds go to charity, kids ‘run for a cause’, promoting social consciousness amongst kids from a young age. More than 4000 children, parents and their supporters congregated at YMCA grounds on this bright and sunny morning in Nandanam to either run, cheer or simply enjoy the extravagant Kidathon carnival.
Chennai Kidathon 2015 was sponsored by TVH Homes, NAC Young Ones, Transcar Mercedes Benz, Good Leather company amongst others and has seen an overwhelming response from parents, schools and kids themselves, with registrations closing at 2250 participants from nearly 20 schools of the city within one month.
The energy and excitement was palpable with eager young faces braving the bright sun to take part in their first run. Chennai Kidathon was divided age wise into 4 distance categories: 500m for 3-5 year olds, 1km or 2 km for 6-12 year olds and the longest distance of 4km for the oldest age group of 9 -14 year olds. Neville Billimoria, the running mentor for Chennai KIdathon flagged off the longest 4km run bright and early at 6:15am. Movie star Jyotika flagged off the 1km race, in which her daughter was participating and shared her fitness tips with the kids. Popular Tamil actress Pooja Kumar increased the glamour quotient by flagging off the shortest 500m races, and spoke enthusiastically about the importance of fitness for kids and the role of fitness in her life from an early age, “I learnt to dance when I was three and swim when I was five. I consider myself a fitness enthusiast”. Completion certificates, medals and free milkshakes were up for grabs as kids scrambled at the finish line followed by proud photographs at the Chennai Kidathon Finishers backdrops.
Organizational flow was executed with clockwork precision with 100% on schedule flag offs of all the runs. The organizing team did a great job of crowd control, providing ample parking facilities and making adequate arrangements for hydration, first-aid, medical support and volunteer support for the participants. Most importantly, it was an Incident free event- as ensuring safety of children at this scale was paramount – from determining number of participants, to designing of route, to provision of ambulance, fire and police security at site etc.
This feat completed by each runner was rewarded by the extravagant Kidathon Carnival. The unusually hot sun did not keep the kids away from game stalls from Sporty Beans, water zorbing, bouncing castle, archery, merry go around and others, music, raffle tickets and food stalls kept up the entertainment quotient on this ideal Sunday morning for the family.
Event was organised by Madras Cosmopolitan Round Table 94 (MCRT 94), a not-for-profit organization engaged in community service. All proceeds go to construction of educational infrastructure under `Freedom through Education – FTE’ project of Round Table India and provision of free healthcare by `Sanjeevi Free Primary Health Care Centre’
“Promoting an active lifestyle in kids is an important message for today and running as a sport, is an easy and simple way for physical fitness. This simple idea behind Chennai Kidathon resonated well with parents, schools and kids themselves. This scale of a kids only run is unprecedented in Chennai and therefore ensuring the safety of children was a prime priority. The response was overwhelming and we are happy to have pulled off another successful edition of this fantastic event!,” said Mr. Imran Pasha, Chairman, MCRT 94.