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 exciting two-year partnership covers the 2024 and 2025 TCS Mini London Marathon events and to mark the first year of the agreement, WWF has confirmed its high-profile supporter Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) will be part of the campaign.
The partnership will enable London Marathon Events (organisers of the TCS Mini London Marathon) and WWF-UK to work together to encourage more children and young people to be physically active while inspiring and equipping the next generation to be responsible stewards of our world.
The TCS Mini London Marathon will take place on Saturday 20 April on a course around St James’s Park, London, which includes the famous TCS London Marathon Finish Line on The Mall. Schools can apply to enter children into the event which has distances of one mile and 2.6 miles.
WWF-UK celebrity supporter Joe Wicks will be at the event to offer support and encouragement and the charity plans further environment-focused, fun activities to be part of the event which takes place the day before the TCS London Marathon on Sunday 21 April.
Entries open for schools that have registered an interest in the event next week (Monday 29 January). General entries open during week commencing 5 February.
The TCS Mini London Marathon in schools takes place between 15 April and 10 May and enables schools to host their own event. Children can run, jog, walk or wheel 2.6 miles at school and then earn their school a trophy as reward for their efforts.
For schools taking part in either the TCS Mini London Marathon or TCS Mini London Marathon in schools, there will be teaching resources available that will include 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.
Both the TCS Mini London Marathon and TCS Mini London Marathon in schools are free to enter. To enter and for more information, visit tcslondonmarathon.com.
Ben Cooper, Event Lead of the TCS Mini London Marathon and TCS Mini London Marathon in schools, said: “We are very excited to have created this partnership between the TCS Mini London Marathon and WWF. 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.”
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.”
Joe Wicks said: “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.
“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.”
The TCS Mini London Marathon was held on the same day as the TCS London Marathon until it became a stand-alone event in 2022. Last year, more than 10,000 children and young people took part, from primary school children up to secondary school pupils. The event also includes championship races for the best young athletes in the country.
The TCS Mini London Marathon in schools was launched in 2020. Since its launch more than one million children have taken part in schools across the UK.