FEDERATION University has stepped up to boost Ballarat's newest community fun run event.
The University will be the first naming rights sponsor to Run For A Cause, which is gathering momentum to beat last year's inaugural event in participation and fundraising.
For FedUni, this build on its work with Cycling Australia Road National Championships in a partnership set to enter a third year when the titles return in January.
Federation University vice-chancellor Helen Bartlett said Run for A Cause aligned nicely with similar sports science and community opportunities but this year's cause, early childhood development, particularly resonated with the university's work.
While FedUni is well-known for its teaching courses, Professor Bartlett said the university was looking to move more into the training space for early childhood.
"This (event) is a really nice fit. What I really like is the early childhood development focus and really starting to raise funds for selected charities who work with disadvantaged children," Professor Bartlett said.
"A big part of that work is to address the learning needed. As a university we're very conscious of education and students' opportunities. How they grow up and go through school, if they get the right start it's much easier. We want to support pathways through school and lifelong learning."
FedUni hosted the official Run for A Cause launch at its Mount Helen campus on Wednesday morning.
The Ballarat Foundation's Run for A Cause will return to Victoria Park and Lake Wendouree on November 17 with a 10-kilometre run, 5km run and walk and 1km children's dash. A half-marathon has been added to the program in what will be the city's first 21.1km fun run in almost a decade.
Corporate and school challenges are also set to become features for this year's Run.
This is the second annual Run for A Cause after more than $31,500 was raised to tackle food insecurity across the region last year. Entries this year will support frontline work in early childhood, supporting one in five children who start school developmentally behind their peers.
Running will help: Ballarat Reads, Ballarat Community Health's paediatric programs, Eureka Mums, Eureka Community Kindergarten Association, Uniting Ballarat, Ballarat Toy Library and Playgroup Victoria's Sebastopol Hub.
Playgroup Victoria regional coordinator Maureen Hatcher told those at the launch the secret to the job of anyone who works in early childhood was the focus was on play. Success, she said, was measured in smiles received and giggles they could hear.
Professor Bartlett said the university's involvement in the event also aimed to bridge the gaps in community exercise and benefit the university's sports science and administration programs.
FedUni is redeveloping its sports science and gym facilities at its Mount Helen campus, including the swimming pool, which will be open to the community and elite athletes and teams.
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