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OB Emily Shaw inspires young children in Nepal to start and enjoy running

OB Emily Shaw has set up an inspirational project to encourage young children in remote areas of Nepal to enjoy sport and running exercises.

Emily Shaw (right) with Maya, a pupil from one of the most remote schools who was the winner of the 800m at the inter-school competition at the Rangasala stadium.

The Right2Run project has been developed and delivered by Emily, culminating in a showcase athletics event in a regional stadium involving 250 pupils from seven schools in remote areas of the country.

The project has proved to be a great success and has led to a further extension of the programme in 2023 with the involvement of six additional schools. 

Emily is a former English Schools 3000m Champion and England international cross-country runner, and she used her gap-year and her passion for running to develop the Right2Run project in collaboration with Right4Children, a charity that works to improve the lives and living standards of disadvantaged Nepalese children and their families.

The project has provided direct support to pupils at remote government schools and has led to the introduction of weekly running sessions covering teamwork skills, running drills and fun games. Feedback from the children, their teachers and their parents has exceeded all expectations, with everyone acknowledging the mental and physical benefits of including sport in the daily routine of each child.

OB Emily Shaw commented: “I know from my own personal experience that a morning running session can change one’s day and help to increase energy and concentration for the day ahead. And that’s exactly what the children involved in Right2Run have said to us. I’ve learnt so much over the past four months and I’ve really enjoyed working with the young athletes. Getting up when it’s pitch dark and freezing cold at 5:30 in the morning has not proved to be a problem for them. After some warm up games, they then run a few laps around the village before sitting their school exams later that morning!

The Right2Run programme developed and delivered by Emily Shaw has proved to be a great success.

“There are many socio-cultural barriers for youngsters to cross in order to participate in sport. This is especially true for young girls. My hope is that the Right2Run project will continue to help pupils overcome these barriers and that they will use the skills gained from their sporting endeavours to break away from the cycle of poverty."

Click here to listen to Emily's recent interview on BBC Radio Solent talking more about the Right2Run project. (The interview starts at 1.46.10).