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Cook Islands Win Kids’ Athletics Day Member Federation Challenge

cook island children play football

The Cook Islands have been selected as winners of the Kids’ Athletics Day Member Federation Challenge following their eight-day programme of activities throughout May.

Around the world, more than 300,000 children across all six continental areas participated in events to mark Kids’ Athletics Day – a global day dedicated to celebrating children and young people being active by participating in athletics.

Member Federations were encouraged to participate in the Kids’ Athletics Day Challenge, with the organiser of the best Kids’ Athletics Day activation – measured by a combination of participation rates, social media engagement levels and overall innovation – receiving the prize of a US$10,000 one-off award to be used to promote and activate Kids’ Athletics (or an equivalent youth activity) in their country.

Of the 106 member federations that held events, Cook Islands were selected as winners. On six of their 12 inhabited islands, they held ‘Give it a Go’ Kids’ Athletics circuit events in May, covering the basic skills of running jumping and throwing.

They also gave each island suggestions of what equipment can be used based on what is available on their island. Almost 500 children – which roughly translates to 10% of the entire child population of the Cook Islands – took part in the events.

“It was a great success to see so many kids get involved who don’t normally participate,” a statement from Athletics Cook Islands said.

“We’re looking forward to using this momentum and the additional training from Oceania Kids’ Athletics ‘Train the Trainer’ workshop held in May to strengthen our Kids’ Athletics programme across the country.”

Estonia and Bolivia were selected as runners-up in the challenge. Both member federations were awarded US$5000 to be used on implementing and promoting Kids’ Athletics in their countries.

Estonia staged 12 Kids’ Athletics events throughout the first three weeks of May, reaching 3000 children. The biggest event was their Kids’ Athletics Workshop on 21 May where kids – about 700 in total – were introduced to athletics events and activities, each receiving a certificate at the end. Olympic gold medallists Erki Nool and Gerd Kanter attended some of the events.

Hundreds of events took place across schools in Bolivia, reaching an estimated 24,000 children. Activities were held even in the most remote and rural areas, where teachers used natural spaces and improvised with the materials and environments that were available to them.

Kids’ Athletics Day is the cornerstone of World Athletics’ Kids’ Athletics programme – a free and exciting programme that uses the power of athletics to inspire children and young people, wherever they are, to be more active, develop their skills and confidence, and to connect with sport for life.

Member federations, clubs and schools can get involved with the Kids’ Athletics programme at any time of year – not just on Kids’ Athletics Day. More information.