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Momiji grants seed funding to support the first UK Ekiden race in June 2024 

As anticipation grows ahead of the inaugural UK Ekiden, Momiji has added its support by pledging generous seed funding to the traditional Japanese running relay that is set for 24 June 2024.

Momiji is a charity that is committed to fostering cultural exchange for young people with interest in the UK and Japan. The charity has supported numerous similar projects to UK Ekiden for more than two decades.

Ekiden is a traditional Japanese relay race that dates back more than 100 years. Runners take part in teams, usually running about 15 kilometres each. It is a running format that has long captivated running enthusiasts around the world, and interest is rising in the UK.

This year’s first UK Ekiden race holds special significance as it is being held in celebration and admiration of the world-famous Hakone Ekiden, which marked its 100th anniversary in January 2024. UK Ekiden aims to honour this milestone by embracing the spirit of the Hakone Ekiden, which is renowned for its exceptional level of competition and teamwork. The grant pledged by Momiji will play a crucial role in making UK Ekiden a reality. 

“We are thrilled to announce that Momiji Charity is formally supporting the UK Ekiden and has provided essential seed funding. We deeply appreciate partners like Momiji, who have been with us from the project’s inception, sharing the same values that Ekiden represents. We are honoured to collaborate in uniting Japanese and British culture through sport along the iconic Thames route.”

said Anna Dingley, Founder of UK Ekiden.

“Momiji is pleased to be collaborating and supporting the first UK Ekiden. The values at the core of ekiden – teamwork, togetherness and camaraderie – align with Momiji’s mission to promote and foster Anglo-Japanese relations,”

said Momiji trustee Oscar Beardmore-Gray.

The current plan is UK Ekiden will follow a scenic route along the Thames Path, from Oxford to Windsor, and will feature up to 21 teams from universities, corporations and other organisations. 

UK Ekiden CIC is a Community Interest Company, limited by guarantee. For more information about the UK Ekiden and updates on the event, please visit www.ukekiden.com.  

About Momiji: 

Momiji is a UK charity registered in 2004 which provides opportunities for young people with disabilities and life-threatening illnesses. The word Momiji means ‘maple leaf’ in Japanese. The five lobes of the leaf represent the five aims of Momiji: providing opportunities for people with disabilities, fostering Anglo-Japanese relations, creating disability awareness, building self-confidence and providing memorable educational experiences.   

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