Picture the scene: it’s Sunday 1 April 2010, nine intrepid youngsters are lining up for a photo in Bushy Park, blissfully unaware that they are about to make history as the pioneers of junior parkrun.
Fast forward eight years to 1 April 2018: it’s Easter Sunday, April Fool’s Day and the eighth anniversary of junior parkrun! On this particular weekend there are 10,037 junior parkrunners and 3,774 volunteers getting together in 203 different locations.
Plenty has happened since Paul Graham launched Bushy Park junior parkrun. In fact, almost 19,000 events have taken place in that eight year period and 1.4 million walks, jogs and runs have been enjoyed by 179,628 different 4-14 year-olds.
Since October 2015, many new junior parkrun events have also been launched in communities where they may not have otherwise started had it not been for our Corporate Social Responsibility partnership with Warburtons. This partnership involves working together to engage children and their families in disadvantaged communities with junior parkrun to help them lead healthier and happier lives. In that time, more than 45,000 different children have taken part in events located in disadvantaged areas of the UK.
Thousands of families’ Sunday mornings now routinely begin with a healthy dose of fresh air, physical activity, laughter, smiles and quality time spent with friends old and new.
My parkrun barcode identifies me as A1562206, my best friend who runs ahead of me calls me Paul, the two conscripts I drag and cajole around the course know me as “Dad”. However, after every 10 or 12 parkruns I volunteer, and on those days I am known to most parkrunners as “Shouty Bearded…
In September 2017 I participated in the Wetherby 10k, which takes place around town centre. As I ran over the bridge towards HM YOI Wetherby, a male juveniles prison where I am employed as a social worker, I started to think about the benefits of running for young people who are remanded or sentenced to…