Pupils at a Swindon school welcomed ten athletes who are running round the world in the name of world harmony.

The runners are taking part in The World Harmony Run, which will be covering 56,000 kilometres during 2010 as it passes through 100 countries.

The athletes of different nationalities attended collective worship on Tuesday with 130 school children, aged from four to 11 years, from King William Street Primary School in Old Town.

Julie Holland, school business manager, said: “They contacted us more than a week ago. They are on their European run which takes seven months. Tomorrow they are off to Oxford.”

After the collective worship the runners and the children moved into the playground where they formed a circle and passed around the lit torch which is never allowed to go out as they run from country to country.

The torch was lit from the molten lava of an active Volcano in Guatemala.

Julie said: “A few of the children thought it was something to do with the Olympics but the run is actually to promote peace and strengthen international understanding.”

The World Harmony Run is organised by an international network of volunteers inspired by the founder, Sri Chinmoy’s vision of a more peaceful world. This year’s team includes runners from as far afield as Ukraine, Switzerland, China, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Iceland and Mongolia as well as Guatemala passing the torch from hand to hand as they run to promote goodwill.