As part of Diabetes Week, which runs from 11 to 17 June, we would like to introduce parkrun’s Champions for people living with diabetes. They are part of a network of specialist volunteers who are working to make parkrun even more welcoming and inclusive.
One such Champion, Ramona Mulligan from Cuerden Valley parkrun, explains more:
PROVE (parkrun; Running or Volunteering for Everyone) is a three-year project funded by the Department of Health, that has been created to remove barriers to participation at parkrun for people with a range of disabilities. Key to the success of the project will be the appointment of a network of specialist volunteers to act as champions for their particular community within parkrun.
parkrun’s Champions for diabetes are all experienced parkrunners and volunteers living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and we also have a specialist doctor on the team. The team includes:
Frank Jones (PROVE Project Manager, Woodhouse Moor parkrun)
Robin Swindell (Oak Hill parkrun)
Dr Michael Mansfield (Roundhay parkrun)
Fiona Pugh (Kingston parkrun)
Gavin Megaw (Guildford parkrun)
Melanie Gray (Cardiff parkrun)
Ramona Joy Mulligan (Cuerden Valley parkrun)
Our aim is to identify the barriers that keep people living with diabetes from participating in parkrun and to create a safe environment for them.
We have started a formal consultation with existing parkrunners, the wider diabetes community and advocacy/support groups. We will take the results of this and our thoughts on barriers to entry and create recommendations, resources and implementation plan so that we can inspire people living with diabetes to become more active and take part by walking, jogging, running and even volunteering.
We know that being a part of the parkrun community improves physical and mental wellbeing by getting out into the parkland surroundings, breathing fresh air, getting regular exercise and socialising before and after the events.
We hope to network with more of the parkrun community who are living with diabetes and/or supporting a family member or loved one. This includes parkrun and junior parkrun events.
Please join parkrun UK’s official Facebook group for parkrunners living with diabetes to share advice, tips, opinions and stories on all things related to parkrun.
Further information regarding the PROVE project is available here, and listed below are some parkrunners who have kindly shared their own experiences of living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Click on their name to find out more:
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