More than 1,050 children aged between 3 and 14 brought the spirit of sportsmanship alive during the Kidz Ultimate Challenge (KUC) sports competitions on 25 June in Paris, 2 July in Birmingham and 16 July in London.
The KUC is a year-long, multifaceted child development programme, one of the highlights of which is the Kidz Ultimate Sports Challenge that was held at Tudor Grange Leisure Centre in Birmingham and Allianz Park, London – home of the European Rugby Union champions Saracens.
The event aimed to encourage sporting awareness and enthusing the children ahead of the Olympic Games in Brazil. A country-wide team of volunteers had been gearing up for the event for several months, which saw the children compete in a variety of events, including 30m, 50m, 100m, 200m and 4x100m track races, the long jump, an obstacle course, lemon ‘n’ spoon race, scooter race and sack race.
After a rousing opening ceremony, where an Olympic-style torch was marched around the stadium by representatives from across the country, the torch was used in the traditional ‘deep pragatya’.
Before the preliminary heats began, the children had also participated in the Cultural Challenge and Ultimate Mastermind Challenge, as a part of the KUC curriculum.
Kiran Patel, one of the lead volunteers for the event, explained, “We wanted the children to take an active interest in sport in a fun way. It’s really rewarding to see how encouraged they are to keep fit and healthy as well as work in teams for a common goal.”
Over 200 prizes were awarded to individuals and teams across the country. Gold-medal winner Vihaan Bankley, aged 14, said, “I didn’t think I could win, but I remembered the motivation and positive words that the mentors and volunteers had given me. I’m delighted to win.”
A similar event also took place at the Bois de Vincennes city park in Paris on Saturday 25 June 2016. More than 90 children gathered, including 20 from Antwerp, Belgium and a family who drove all the way from Switzerland. The children enjoyed a glorious day of sports and fun with the volunteers and family.