29 June 2019, 12pm
In all a thousand children participated aged from 6–13 years old. Besides the race itself, the event presented an opportunity to bring together members of all the communities that live in Erbil and its surroundings. Children of the host community, Syrian refugees and internally displaced people (“IDP”) all participated. The social harmony that the event generates makes it an outstandingly beautiful occasion.
Teba, a 10-year old IDP from Mosul, lives in the Bahrka camp around 10km north of Erbil, “I feel very happy today. Yes, I’m tired but I’m so happy that I could participate in such nice event outside of the camp, I have received a medal and certificate and I wish I could participate every time.”
Children of both genders took part in a 2km race in the most beautiful and biggest park in Erbil. The children were accompanied by their parents and other family members which made the race a social and family event enjoyed by all.
It went off successfully and smoothly from beginning to end. There were two age categories: 6–10 years old and 11–13 years old. Each category started separately to give more order to the race.
The children were very happy and each received a T-shirt, cup, sports bag and some other gifts provided by the sponsors such as balloons, booklets and painting kits. They were extremely excited to receive their first ever medals and certificates. In addition to providing water stations around the course, the children’s also received milk and juice at the finish line.
There were several other supporting activities for the children to keep them happy and make the race a social and entertaining event that would make them want to come back again. Four cartoon characters were present including SpongeBob and Mickey Mouse. There was also face painting and other activities. The awards ceremony was another high point for the children as all of them received a medal, certificate, water and juice and other gifts.
Everyone attending enjoyed music, singing and dancing and the organisers delivered certificates of appreciation to those who helped with the event such as the park administration, ambulance units, sponsors, the media and volunteers.
The JOJO MAMA the local children’s channel was the media sponsor of the event, promoting it before and after the races were held. Rudaw and the K24 satellite channel broadcasted it live.