Fitness coach Joe Wicks will encourage children to enjoy activity and to value the natural world as the TCS Mini London Marathon celebrates a new partnership with WWF-UK.
Wicks, who found fame during the Covid-19 pandemic with his PE With Joe YouTube videos, said spending time in nature benefits both mental and physical health, and that the project was the perfect way to combine his two passions.
WWF-UK (the World Wide Fund for Nature) has become the inaugural charity partner of the TCS Mini London Marathon and the TCS Mini London Marathon in schools.
The two-year partnership covers the 2024 and 2025 TCS Mini London Marathon events.
It will enable organiser London Marathon Events and WWF-UK to work together to encourage more children to be physically active while inspiring and equipping them to be responsible stewards of the natural world.
The TCS Mini London Marathon will take place on Saturday April 20, the day before the TCS London Marathon, on a course around St James’s Park, London, which includes the marathon finish line on The Mall.
Wicks will be at the event to offer support and encouragement, and there will be environment-focused, fun activities on the day.
“I am so excited to be supporting WWF-UK and the TCS Mini London Marathon to help inspire young people to get moving outside and to raise awareness of the importance of nature for our wellbeing,” Wicks said.
“Encouraging young people to be active and get outside is something I am really passionate about, so this project was the perfect way to combine these two things.
“Spending time in nature is incredibly beneficial for both our mental health and physical wellbeing, and I hope that this partnership with WWF helps to highlight this to younger generations.”
Schools can apply to enter children into the event which has distances of one mile and 2.6 miles. Entries open on January 29 for schools that have already registered an interest while general entries open the following week.
The TCS Mini London Marathon in schools takes place between April 15 and May 10 and enables schools to host their own event. Children can run, jog, walk or wheel 2.6 miles to earn their school a trophy.
Schools taking part will be given teaching resources including tips and guidance on how to get pupils active and information from WWF-UK, including assembly presentations, lesson plans and tips on how to take action for climate, nature and sustainability in their school.
Jon Turner, head of education at WWF-UK, said: “We at WWF are delighted to be the first-ever charity partner for this event and thrilled to be working with schools and young people all around the country who will be taking part in the event in some way, be it running at the London event or getting involved at their school.
“We are hopeful that the partnership will engage with a new generation of young people and inspire them to get outside in nature while being vital young advocates for our planet.”
Ben Cooper, event lead of the TCS Mini London Marathon and TCS Mini London Marathon in schools, said: “The ambitions of our organisations are very much aligned, with a focus on inspiring our next generation.
“The TCS Mini London Marathon is all about making exercise more appealing to all by creating a fun and inclusive event that, we hope, inspires those taking part to continue being active as they get older.
“This partnership with WWF, including the fantastic support of Joe Wicks, will help us inspire more children to be active while encouraging children to engage and learn more about environmental issues.”
Both the TCS Mini London Marathon, which includes championship races for the best young athletes in the country, and the TCS Mini London Marathon in schools are free to enter.
Last year, more than 10,000 children and young people took part.
To enter and for more information, visit tcslondonmarathon.com