Children’s Races

Great Ethiopian Run is committed to staging high-quality races for all the Children at the 16th edition of the 2023 End Polio Now Children’s Races.

Registration will start on Monday 09 October 2023 at Great Ethiopian Run Office and Alem Cinema. 

Registration Fee: 360 Birr including 15% VAT

Race date: 18 November 2023

Race Day Programme

08:15 – 08:35 Disability races in four categories (visual, hearing impairment, physical & intellectual disability)

08:40 – 08:55 Music & dance performances on the stage

08:45 – 09:50 Races for under 5, 8 & 11 boys girls – a total of 6 races with 10 minute intervals

09:20 – 09:40 Prize ceremony for disability races

09:50 – 10:05 Prize winning quizzes about the race message

10:05 – 10:25 Prize ceremony & raffle for all finishers


Ethiopian Sport Academy (near Imperial)

Parking: is available outside the compound near to the gate on the way to 22 Mazoria road. We advise you to arrive as early as possible.

Security & Safety: please be aware of thieves and be sensible about taking care of possessions such as mobile phones and cameras. Please note that only adults with children wearing the race t-shirt will be allowed to enter the compound.

Lost Children: children should not leave the compound before the event finishes. If your child goes missing, we have an area marked ‘Lost Children’ (situated on the right side of the stage). You may wish to write parent/guardian telephone number on your child’s t-shirt.

Rotary and Polio


Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. Poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in hours. It can strike people of any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio can be prevented by vaccines, but it is not curable. Unlike most diseases, polio can be eradicated.


For more than 30 years, Rotary and our partners have driven the effort to eradicate polio worldwide. Our PolioPlus program was the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication by vaccinating children on a massive scale. As a core partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary focuses on advocacy, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and awareness-building.

Rotary members have contributed more than $2.2 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect nearly 3 billion children in 122 countries from this paralyzing disease. Rotary’s advocacy efforts have played a role in decisions by governments to contribute more than $10 billion to the effort.

Polio Today

When Rotary and its partners formed the GPEI in 1988, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 125 countries every year. Today, we have reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent, and just two countries continue to report cases of wild poliovirus: Afghanistan and Pakistan. Because of the efforts of Rotary and its partners, nearly 19.4 million people who would otherwise have been paralyzed are walking, and more than 1.5 million people are alive who would otherwise have died. The infrastructure we helped build to end polio is also being used to treat and prevent other diseases (including COVID-19) and create lasting impact in other areas of public health.


Rotary and our partners have made tremendous progress against polio, but eliminating all cases is going to take even more progress and perseverance. Afghanistan and Pakistan face unique challenges, including political insecurity, highly mobile populations, difficult terrain, and, in some instances, vaccine refusal and misinformation. With sufficient resources, the commitment of national governments, and innovations that improve access to remote areas, we are optimistic that we can eliminate polio.

Ensuring Success

Rotary has committed to raising $50 million per year for polio eradication. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged to match that 2-to-1, for a total commitment of $150 million each year. These funds provide much-needed operational support, medical workers, laboratory equipment, and educational materials. Governments, corporations, and private donors all play a crucial role in funding.

Rotary in Action

More than 1 million Rotary members have donated their time and money to eradicate polio, and every year, hundreds of members work with health workers to vaccinate children in countries affected by polio. Rotary members work with UNICEF and other partners to prepare and distribute informational materials for people in areas that are isolated by conflict, geography, or poverty. They also mobilize to recruit fellow volunteers, assist in transporting the vaccine, and provide other logistical support.

Celebrity Support

Rotary has a growing list of public figures and celebrities who support our fight against polio, including Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; actresses Kristen Bell and Archie Panjabi; actor and wrestling superstar John Cena; supermodel Isabeli Fontana; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu; action-movie star Jackie Chan; actor Donald Sutherland; boxing great Manny Pacquiao; pop star Psy; golf legend Jack Nicklaus; conservationist Jane Goodall; premier violinist Itzhak Perlman; Grammy Award winners A.R. Rahman, Angélique Kidjo, and Ziggy Marley; and peace advocate Queen Noor of Jordan. These ambassadors help Rotary educate the public about the disease and the fight to end polio for good.  


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In support of the Ethiopian Government’s initiatives to address issues of climate change, Great Ethiopian Run is promoting a “Go Green” campaign in connection with the 2021 TotalEnergies Great Ethiopian Run International 10km in November 2021 and carrying forward to our races planned in 2022. 

Our campaign has five strands, and over the coming months, we will be implementing an action plan with the twin goal of working for the good of our environment and fostering greater awareness about the importance of green issues. 


We are promoting “3km of walking per day” to get us all to think more about walking in place of making short car journeys. We are also encouraging our participants to use public transport and shared car transport for arriving at and returning from the race.  


This year we have used recyclable (eco-friendly) materials in the production of our race t-shirts. We have also partnered with PETCO to collect and recycle all plastic bottles and other rubbish consumed and produced on race day. 


In collaboration with UNICEF, we are promoting a “Poo to the Loo” message to highlight the impact of faeces on the health and environment of our children. Rubbish bins will be placed along the racecourse every 250m. 


This year we are using a lighter water bottle for participants to make it easier for recycling. Our goody bag is also made of a non-plastic material which can be reused for shopping by participants. 


We no longer use paper for registering participants. All registration has been done electronically. Participants also receive their race magazine electronically in place of printed magazines. 

We invite all our participants and stakeholders to join us in this campaign and to contribute positively to the sustainability of our environment.  


Registration for the 2022 PlayMatters Children’s Race is now open. Register at Great Ethiopian Run Office

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