The MUNICH MARATHON was honored by the „Association of International Marathons and Distance Races“ (AIMS) at the world congress with the „Social Award“.
In marathon it is not only about great performances but also about honoring special initiatives. AIMS follows the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations and figures that the MUNICH MARATHON contributes in reaching those goals with its projects of integration. “Ideally, competitive sports is not only about performances”, quoted the Süddeutsche Zeitung on 10th November 2016. “With its social engagement the MUNICH MARATHON managed to do so and is therefor honored with the Social Award”.
In summer 2015 thousands of refugees arrived at the Munich main station. A few weeks later, at the marathon weekend, many of the people voluntarily helped at the course. Some even dared to participate. In cooperation with the social services department and different aid organisations, the MUNICH MARATHON developed their own program for integration.
„Young refugees have always been dependent on the help of others. Now, in helping at the event, they were able to give something back”, explains Gernot Weigl. Along with different Bavarian clubs and their members, the refugees helped at the food stands or in the Olympic Stadium.
But they were not only volunteers at the MUNICH MARATHON. In 2015 and 2016 76 refugees participated in marathon, half marathon or 10k. The initiative includes a marathon preparation program that is open to everyone: “Laufend integrieren”.
Wristbands with the slogan were on sale at the MM Sports Expo and online. The earnings and donations by sponsors resulted in an amount of 30.000 €, which was given to the social services department to support refugees in Munich.
„It is a great example how running can help deal with the humanitarian challenges of our time”, says Paco Barao, president of AIMS.
„We made new friends and experienced great responses from Munich residents“, tells Gernot Weigl, running director of the MUNICH MARATHON. Of course, the project “Laufend integrieren” will be continued. “We will even expand it”, announces Gernot Weigl. “On major theme in 2017 will be integration of disabled people at the MUNICH MARATHON.”
The “Integration through running” project (“Laufend integrieren” in German) was launched in conjunction with Flughafen München GmbH and since July has been preparing 100 refugees for their big shared dream of running the MUNICH MARATHON. For months they have been training for the 10km run, the half-marathon, the marathon and the 4-person relay. In addition, over 150 refugees are involved in the teams of helpers working over the weekend of the marathon to assist with ensuring that Bavaria’s biggest sporting event is a success.
In conjunction with buntkicktgut e.V., in the run-up to the MUNICH MARATHON, on 3 October a football tournament will take place on small pitches in the Olympia Stadium, with 10 teams of 5 players pitting their footballing skills against one another. On 8 October the players will run the marathon route in relay teams. All those who bought the “Integration through running” wristband are to thank for providing the funding for the project to go ahead. Thank you! We have now been able to make the dreams of over 400 children come true – to run into the Olympia Stadium and play football there.
Please continue to support this project! Wristbands can be bought for 5 euros at the MM Sportmesse (west entrance).