The fourth day in the 7-Day Adventure sees our International Runners organise a sports day for disadvantaged children in Uganda. We invite the youngsters from the Charity Projects who work with children, so attendees will come from local schools, orphanages and other youth-based initiatives. For those children who have experienced KidsRunWild before, they literally countdown the days to the event each year!
And they’re not the only ones who look forward to this day and look back on it with fond memories – many of our Internationals Runners describe it as one of their favourite parts of the week!
The Meaning Behind the Day
For the children of Masaka, the day represents a unique experience, as in the school national curriculum, especially in rural areas, there tends to be a lack of focus on sport, so the day represents the opportunity for children to participate in fun, competitive sporting events. Many of us consider sport and being active as a key component of a healthy lifestyle, as well as a theme for bringing communities together, which this day hopes to encourage amongst the children.
We also host the event in the hopes that by exposing local children to competitive sport at a young age, not only will it encourage them to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle, but also inspire them with the option to potentially become Uganda’s future professional athletes. After all, whilst Uganda is in the same region as Kenya and Ethiopia, it still produces a fraction of the elite professionals compare to its neighbours. We’d love to see some of the children go on to become the next generation of professional Ugandan athletes!
In summary, it’s a day designed to expose the children of Masaka to activity and sport within a fun and friendly atmosphere, whilst giving them the opportunity to participate in competitive races and experience that special ‘finish line feeling’ – all whilst having an unforgettable day and putting smiles on their faces!
Plus, it’s a great opportunity for our International Runners to get involved and experience the fun of sports day all over again!
What does the day look like?
Last year’s event saw 200 local children attend the day, with a variety of events being held for the kids (and runners) to enjoy! To start with there is music, dancing, face painting, bouncy castles, and local Ugandan entertainers dressed up as some of the kid’s favourite characters.
Then there are the competitive races, which include the 50m dash, three-legged race, egg and spoon race, the relay and the longer, 100m race, amongst others. We hold a few of each type of race, splitting the children by age category, and have an ‘adult version’ of each event too for the International Runners (which be warned, can get super competitive!! 🙂 ).
The entertainers then take over, leading games and dances for the whole group. They’ll be some further sports going on in the background too, such as football and other ball games.
To finish, everyone stops for a well-earned lunch as everyone’s normally pretty knackered by this point! We also treat the children to some cake, and everyone takes some time to relax and enjoy each others company for the final part of the day.
Overall, we provide the structure of the day, but we encourage our International Runners to take centre stage, with marshalling, encouraging and helping the children, handing out prizes, and generally making sure they have a great day!
We welcome idea from runners as well, as we want you to share your passion for sports and being active with the children. After all, it’s our runners who make the day so special and memorable for the children – they find it so inspiring and exciting that you’ve travelled so far to take part in the marathon, all to support them and Masaka!
What our previous runners had to say about the day…
“The Kids Run Wild day was very special” – Steve
“Kids Run Wild was my highlight of the week. The whole day had great energy and atmosphere, everyone was in great spirits. This event took place high up on a hill and the view was unbelievable – pictures could not do it justice. But just seeing all the local kids having a great time, and getting taught all the local dance moves was unbelievable. I started with two left feet and left a pro (or so I think anyway!). We even had a go at teaching the local kids some English dance routines like the Macarena.” – Liam
“The sports day was the most fun, all of the children playing games, dancing and racing with each other. We all joined in and the children were so happy to see us and again – they were so well behaved it was unbelievable! It will live in my memory forever. With all the children who actually have nothing, made us feel welcome and lets us join in on their sports day. I felt quite privileged to be able to join in and help these children to have such a wonderful day – yet another tear-jerking day.” – Dale
Like the ‘See your Legacy Days’, KidsRunWild represents another exciting day in 7-Day Adventure to volunteer, connect with the community, and make an impact. To see more of what the KidsRunWild event is like, see the gallery below, and to explore more of what the week-long adventure is like, which 1 in 5 participants describe as ‘the best week of my life’, check out our full Adventure Page here.