Pearson with Ada Rand and Zach Schmidt.
Pearson with Ada Rand and Zach Schmidt. Contributed

Supermarket giving away two million free bananas

TWO million bananas will be given away this summer.

World champion athlete Sally Pearson has urged budding athletes to race down to their local running tracks as the Little Athletics season kicks off in Ipswich this month.

To provide kids with a nutritional boost at training, Coles plans to donate more than two million bananas this season to Little Athletics clubs around the country.

LITTLE ATHLETES: Olympian Sally Pearson with Ada Rand and Zach Schmidt test out the banana power.
LITTLE ATHLETES: Olympian Sally Pearson with Ada Rand and Zach Schmidt test out the banana power. Contributed

Over 16 weeks this season, Coles will donate four boxes of bananas each week to Ipswich, Colleges, Mt Tarampa and Rosewood Little Athletics Centres as part of its national sponsorship of Little Athletics.

Fresh from her win at the world championships in London, Little Athletics ambassador Pearson encouraged kids to join Little Athletics this year.

"Little Athletics gave me the start I needed to be successful and fulfil my dreams. I encourage more kids across Australia to create their own story through athletics," she said.

"I hope that the kids understand that it doesn't matter if you're not winning when you're this age, you can always be an Olympic champion if your heart is set on it and you dream big."

Ms Pearson said the Coles funding would go a long way in helping local clubs.

"Little Athletics is a very important organisation that adds value to our children's health and wellbeing. It's essential to have funding and Coles is the answer to our prayers," she said.

"I was also an ambassador for Coles leading up to the London Olympics and I've seen first-hand their passion for a healthy lifestyle and fresh food so I'm glad that I can be a part of that.

"I do remember coming back from training sessions and sometimes eating about five bananas. They are a favourite fruit of mine so I am very excited by Coles' initiative to donate bananas to clubs."

Ipswich Coles store manager Ben Muller said the partnering with Little Athletics would help drive participation communities like Ipswich.

"We are passionate about our fresh food and we want to support health, fun and fitness in the community through our partnership with Little Athletics. We also know our customers in Ipswich love sport and getting involved with their local club," Mr Muller said.

"As well as our financial support, we wanted to donate bananas to energise local kids during training sessions." Coles Little Athletics Australia CEO Martin Stillman said he hoped the number of kids joining Little Athletics would continue to grow locally and across Australia.

"Little Athletics is an iconic brand in the Australian sporting landscape and the Coles partnership will mean we can provide more support and resources to centres in Ipswich to ensure further growth in the sport," he said.

"Last year we had around 95,000 children registered around Australia and we hope that number will increase."

To join Little Athletics, go to littleathletics.com.au.



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