New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) Over 40,000 children, including 2500 visually impaired kids and 300 differently-abled children, from over 800 schools across India are expected to take part in the 21st edition of Salwan Marathon which will be held on November 6 here, it was announced on Wednesday.
Apart from the 4.5 km run for visually impaired and differently-abled kids, school children will also be competing in Under-14 girls and boys category (4.5km), Under-16 girls and boys (6 km) and Under-18 category for girls and boys (8 km) in a tougher course planned this year at Brar square, Delhi Cantt.
The organisers said that they are keen to send out a strong message on the need to tap talent at the grassroots level of competitive sports through fair play.
Dope and age verification has been made mandatory for the top 20 winners in each category. Multiple cameras and a GPS tracking system are being put in place to track the distance, location and time taken to run the course.
“Started as an initiative to bring out the spirit of courage, grit and determination amongst kids, focus for Salwan Marathon this year will also be on safety and security of each participant, with over 4000 volunteers, marshals, physical instructors and a heavy deployment of police and officials from the Army, Navy and Air Force,” Samrata Diwan, spokesperson, Salwan Marathon said.
“We want this edition of the Salwan Marathon to be leaner and faster, and we expect much better timings from the children this year. It would be good if SAI and AFI join hands with us to tap this bank of young athletes who can be groomed for future international competitions,” added Samrata.
“In fact we are strongly contemplating to take this run to rural India considering the winners of the past 16 years have been from rural background.”