Kids take their marks for the new-look Arena Group Leeds Mini and Junior Runs

Hundreds of big-hearted youngsters will head to Leeds Dock on Saturday July 11 to take part in one of the region’s biggest charity running events for children.

The free-to-enter Arena Group Leeds Mini and Junior Run was today officially launched at the dock, which is hosting the popular event for the first time. It will signal the start of a great weekend of running in the city with the Asda Foundation Leeds 10K taking place on Sunday July 12th.

Leeds Mini and Junior launch

Suitable for children of all abilities and organised by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All, the mini and junior runs provide youngsters with a wonderful introduction to mass participation events.

The 1.5km mini run is for children aged three to eight. The junior run, for youngsters aged between nine and 14, covers a distance of 2.5km.

Entry is free thanks to the sponsorship of document management specialist Arena Group and every child who crosses the finish line will receive a goody bag and finisher’s medal.

Adrian Fitzpatrick, managing director of Arena Group, which has supported Run For All Mini and Junior runs since 2010, said: “Leeds Dock should prove to be a great venue for this super event.

“We are proud to continue to support an event that encourages youngsters not only to be active but also to help worthy causes; it really is a win-win situation. Good luck to all those taking part.”

Children taking part in the runs are encouraged to raise a small amount of money to help a local cause. They can choose any charity of their choice or support the event’s official partner charity.

In 2015 the event will be supporting Sunshine and Smiles, a support network established in 2011 for children and young people who have Down Syndrome, and their families, in Leeds and the surrounding areas.

The charity aims are to improve the lives and opportunities of children and young people with Down Syndrome in Leeds by offering regular groups and activities, individual support and advocacy for families, raising awareness and challenging preconceptions in the wider community.

Leeds Mini and Junior launch (2)

Ailith Harley-Roberts, of the charity, said: “Sunshine and Smiles is absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the official charity partner of this year’s Arena Group Leeds Mini and Junior runs.

“Many of our families and children have run the races before but this year it will be extra special knowing we are running together to raise more awareness about Down syndrome and the work our charity does - and hopefully to raise essential funds to help us maintain the groups, activities, trips and individual support that we offer children and young people with Down syndrome, and their families, here in Leeds.”

Lucy Whalley, of Leeds Dock, said: “We are thrilled this year’s Arena Group Mini and Junior Run is coming to Leeds Dock, it’s such a fantastic event and a great opportunity for children to get involved in sporting events at a young age. This year’s event promises to be bigger than ever as Leeds Dock will be putting on fun activities into the afternoon so families can make a real day of it! The run fits perfectly into our summer of events at the dock and we hope to raise as much money as possible causes around Leeds.”

For details on how to enter the Arena Group Mini and Junior Runs or the Asda Foundation Leeds 10K go to www.runforall.com

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