Lastega ja lastele

Auhinnaga „Lastega ja lastele“ täname ja tunnustame inimesi ja organisatsioone, kelle uued algatused või pikemaajaline tegevus on positiivselt mõjutanud laste ja perede käekäiku.
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The Mini-Marathon of Tartu Ski Marathon: for Happiness and Good Health

At the end of February, children living in shelters made good use of their brand new ski sets, being among the 1100 young ski enthusiasts who participated in the children’s ski races at the Tartu Marathon. Little ones competed in the ‘tiny’ race and the mini-marathon, where the distances were 500 m and 1.5 km. Older kids could try skiing on tracks of 2 or 4 kilometres. The day was a great opportunity for the children to test their stamina and spirit of competition.

For most of the time, 8-year-old Andreas was spread-eagled on the track, but with the help of a caregiver he pushed forward until he reached the finish line. His main motivation was the medal given to every kid at the end of the competition. Besides, he was very happy with his performance!

When he got home, 12-year-old Hindrek shared his impressions with great excitement: “I really was at the Tartu Ski Marathon! Really! In Tartu and at the marathon, and I was skiing! Yes! It was so cool. It’s a sure thing that when I grow up, I’ll try the long distance!”

13-year-old Andrei had a stroke of good luck in the marathon draw. He won a pair of skis and was so proud of them that on the way home he repeatedly asked the bus driver to stop the bus so that he could admire them. He is convinced that he will win many prizes with the skis.

8-year-old Andre was so quick that he won the ‘tiny’ marathon, and after the race he said with great excitement: “Can you imagine it: I came first! Everyone was applauding when I crossed the finish line. I was like Andrus Veerpalu. Really!” Others left behind in the race mocked him, saying: “You – Veerpalu? Ha!” But Andre was adamant: “Really!” Nobody could change his mind – he loved being in the limelight.

When he got home, 13-year-old Ander quickly made ski tracks in the apple garden, and he is diligent about practising his skiing every day. He believes firmly that practice makes perfect.

11-year-old Leonid was very melancholy, because had recently been separated from his mother and was reluctant to express his emotions about the day. But according to one of the carers he was very brave! The trip helped to disperse some of the dark clouds in his mind.

7-year-old Vera took to skis for the first time and did not have the strength to finish the race. From sheer disappointment her eyes brimmed with tears: “I just couldn’t ski! The skis are so slippery!” But a prize in the draw immediately lifted her spirits.

5-year-old Hanna, who was also skiing for the first time in her life, said: “I’d never seen skis in my life! I was skiing with my kindergarten friend Lille. First we practised – how to move and so on. It was so exciting. Then this man said that we would all count to five and then, on five, go! On the tracks I skied alone. It was so difficult – the poles got caught in the snow all the time!” She added: “And when I finished the race, guess what I got: a medal!”

7-year-old Hans said: “I tried skiing in kindergarten. But it was difficult – all the little kids got in my way! Once, my skis even got caught up! If I’d been one of the first, I would have received three presents, that’s for sure! But still, I came first and received a medal!”

On Monday at school, 13-year-old Kostja entertained his classmates and teachers with colourful stories from the marathon and proudly showed off the medal and badge he received at the ski party.

Liidia Synkova, the director of Narva children’s shelter, said: “I can’t put my feelings into words! Thank you so much for this beautiful, well-planned and well-organised day! At first, the children were afraid to let go of us, but they soon found the courage to explore this haven of love and good health. I happened to see 10-year-old Diana notice a fluffy bear mascot, run up to it and hug it over and over again, at the same time repeating that the bear was so soft and lovely. Diana’s mother was arrested unexpectedly and will be held in custody until April. Her daughter could not make any sense of the situation and became antisocial and ill. Here she made a good and understanding friend and on the way home she told the others about meeting the bear with great joy in her voice. So, many thanks for this fantastic event! We will be very happy to get on our skis again in the years ahead and to chase happiness and good health!”

For many children living in shelters this winter was their first chance to try skiing. Our sincere thanks to all of the contributors whose donations enabled us to buy a hundred new pairs of skis for shelters so that the children could proudly bring home their first victories on marathon tracks.

I am convinced that this extremely snowy winter and the experience of participating in a marathon turned many children into skiing fans. And I am sure that participating in the marathon will become a new tradition in shelters, and that these skis will not be forgotten or abandoned, but will be among the first used to compete on next year’s mini-marathon track.

Triin Lumi


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