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    A children’s marathon, to highlight the importance of fitness.

    ARE there times you wished you could divert your child’s attention from the various screens that fill their lives—television, phones, computers and tablets? The Pondy Kids Marathon may turn out to be an answer to those prayers.
    The maiden edition will see children between the ages of three and 15 run along the Beach Road at dawn on August 7. “We have been approaching schools to encourage students to take this step towards physical fitness,” says organiser M Ezhil, who runs La Fitmiss, a women’s fitness centre. “If we are to prevent various lifestyle-related diseases, it is important to start young and teach children about healthy food habits and physical activity.” The marathon has four categories: 300 m (three-five years); 600 m (six-eight years); 1,200 m (nine-12  years) and 2,000 m (13-15 years).
    The event—in collaboration with Puducherry Tourism and the Pondicherry Cancer Trust and Research Centre—intends to create awareness on diagnosing paediatric cancers early, which is crucial for preventing cancer-related deaths. There will also be presentations by doctors and provision for visitors to register for blood and eye donation on D-day.
    While there will be no prizes for top contenders, every child who completes the marathon will get a medal and certificate. Registrations close on July 20, with a warm-up session scheduled at the end of the month, with young cancer survivors.
    Rs 350 (inclusive of marathon kits and T-shirt). Details: 7338866444
    

    —Olympia Shilpa Gerald

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