When I last wrote for the newsletter at the beginning of the year, I talked about how far we had come and how our focus is firmly on improving the nation’s health and happiness. I also talked about partnering with likeminded organisations and how we at parkrun want to be part of the solution to a healthier and happier Ireland.
Well, we have had a little time now to work towards these aims and I am pleased to see how enthusiastically parkrunners across the country have embraced this new strategy. Thanks to a collaborative approach we are already making headway.
So far this year we have delivered several new events in key areas, with more coming soon, and shortly we will also be announcing initiatives to engage with people who are looking to get physically active. This initiative will be in partnership with Get Ireland Walking and be known as ‘parkwalk’.
We have developed a parkrun guide network for Visually Impaired participants and again, with support from Vision Sport Ireland, NCBI, Child Vision, Fighting Blindness and CARA (which helps provide sport and physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities) we will be launching a campaign to encourage Visually Impaired volunteering, walking or running at parkrun.
Turning our heads to junior parkrun and young people in general, we have new events coming in targeted areas and we are engaging with Active School Flags and Active School Week to encourage schools to come along to junior parkrun.
There are also current initiatives to welcome under-represented groups such as Irish Speakers in conjunction with An tOireachtas and the LGBT community thanks to Carlow Sports Partnership.
Additionally, we continue to work closely with Healthy Ireland, HSE, Sport Ireland, Local Sports Partnerships and Athletics Ireland, plus our presenting partner Vhi.
The picture is bright and the message is clear: working together we can and we are making a difference. We are exploring many more new initiatives to engage under represented groups, so if you would like to get involved please get in touch.
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