Parkrun is a major phenomenon that has literally taken the world by storm. It started in October 2004 with a handful of members. It was started by Paul Sinton-Hewitt, who had been a club runner. After struggling with injury and depression he wanted to find a way of keeping him involved with the sport and also a way to keep seeing his runner friends. His first event had just 13 runners, 3 volunteers and was managed by Simon himself. The event now takes place in parks every Saturday across the country with an average of over a quarter of a million runners taking place each week.
Parkrun is free and is funded through sponsorship and grants. Personally, we know lots of people that take part and these range in age from children to let’s say the more mature runners. I have heard children wanting to beat their parents, parents wanting to beat their children!! I have heard groups of children comparing their times. I have heard people talking about friends they have made through this scheme and so much more.
In a world of technology, tv and computer games it is such a great way of getting people out into the fresh air and doing something healthy where they can interact with other people. Not only does Parkrun encourage people to participate in the run but they use volunteers. The scheme gives people who want to put something back into the community a chance to do that. Having been involved in sport for all of my life and many of my friends have been made this way, I have wondered what would happen if I stopped as many of those friends we only have that sport in common. I can see how being able to keep involved as a volunteer would enable you to keep your link with that circle of friends.
In a world where obesity threatens to increase and the health issues that go with it, it is really great to celebrate a scheme that is really positive in so many ways. To find out more about Parkrun click here
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