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Run for fun and a cause

1,500 kids aged up to 14 thronged Eco Park Gate 1 to take part in the 5th edition of Junior Horlicks Kiddathon

By Ayan Paul in Calcutta

  • Published 9.12.19, 1:18 AM
  • Updated 9.12.19, 1:18 AM
Children take part in Kiddathon 2019 at Eco Park on Sunday.
Children take part in Kiddathon 2019 at Eco Park on Sunday. Pictures by Shuvo Roychaudhury

Shagun Priyadarsi, a Class I student, came all the way from Pune to Calcutta just for the love of running.

Divij Vora is all of one-and-a-half months old but he joined the run in mother Parita Shah’s lap.

Spirit was the winner as around 1,500 kids aged up to 14 thronged Eco Park Gate 1 to take part in the fifth edition of Junior Horlicks Kiddathon 2019, a Santa Run organised by Ladies Circle India and partnered by TTIS, on Sunday morning.

Every child who ran contributed towards the treatment of underprivileged kids with cancer and building school toilets in Bengal’s villages.

There were five races — 4km, 2km, 1.25km for eight years and above, 1.25km for below eight years and Mom N Me (600m).

“I had taken part in the 5km category of a few races in Pune. When I heard about Kiddathon, I was eager to take part. I loved it because everyone got a medal and it’s also for a good cause,” said Shagun, a student of The HDFC School, Magarpatta Road, Pune.

Ghazal Beria with her 13-month-old son Krish. “This is my first time at Kiddathon. It is a great way to make kids aware about physical fitness,” said Ghazal, who took part in the Mom N Me run

Parita ran with Divij strapped to her in a baby carrier and elder son Hridaan, 3. “This was the first time I took part in Kiddathon and fell in love with it. I ran with my sons and it was great fun,” she said.

Vikrruti Goyal, a Class II student of La Martiniere for Girls, took part in the first edition of Kiddathon in her mother Gunjan’s lap. This time, she joined the 4km run.

Inspired by Vikrruti, her brother Adhrit, a Class I student of La Martiniere for Boys, also took part in the 4km category on his debut in the event. “This is how Kiddathon helps inculcate the love for running in kids. It also makes them independent,” said father Vikrant Goyal, who also loves to run and will take part in the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K for the second time this year.

While most of the kids ran for fun, Risha Bhattacharya, Class IV, Sushila Birla Girls’ School, was busy removing plastic bottles from the tracks during the 4km run. “I have been plogging in 5km races in Calcutta since last year,” said the youngest member of the city chapter of Ploggers of India, who runs every day and learns lawn tennis at Calcutta South Club.

Sudeshna Basu was there with daughters Araby and Elan. She ran with three-year-old Elan, while Araby, a Class III student of Modern High School for Girls, took part in the 1.25km run

There were also some passionate runners. “I run every day from 8pm to 9pm. I take part in 100m, 200m and 400m flat races in our school sports every year and win medals,” said Shivam Jhawar, Class IV, St James’ School, who finished first in 4km though there were no prizes for the winners.

“It’s not a race, but a run. Everyone is a winner here. So we gave medals and gifts to every child,” said Nikita Khilani, director, Kiddathon.

The event had Santa Run as its theme for the first time. Children ran in Santa suits and red-and-white T-shirts to go with the theme. “There was much to do, from zumba to a carnival. My son was very happy,” said Priyashree Gupta, who joined the Mom N Me Run with son Vyom Bain, a pre-school student at Bubble Blue, New Town. 

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