In April last year, as part of a 12-month pilot, we launched our first junior parkrun event at Southport on the Gold Coast. Subsequently, there were two more events set-up at Westerfolds in Melbourne and Cannonvale in the Whitsundays.
As a result of the success of these events, and with thorough and careful consideration we are now looking to start launching additional junior parkrun events around the country!
junior parkrun encourages kids to get outdoors and spend time with friends and family while demonstrating that being physically active and volunteering are activities that are enjoyable and rewarding. It follows the traditional parkrun concept in a new series of 2km events, encouraging kids from 4 to 14 of all abilities to participate in a fun, free and non-competitive event.
The geographical expansion will allow parents and kids around the country to participate together, such as the Nihot family, who have been participating in parkrun events around Australia for the last seven years:
Mrs Nihot said: “My kids and I have been participating in parkrun events around Australia since the launch of Main Beach parkrun back in 2011. Initially, my husband and I joined to be involved in something active, but it has become part of our weekend as a family and it’s a great event to motivate my kids and show them that exercise can be fun”.
Being active has always been of importance to Paula and her kids, but it has taken increased precedence as her youngest, Morgan, was recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Paula believes that Morgan, along with her siblings, Ethan and Ciarn, not only love the running, but they love the community and togetherness parkrun offers.
Paula said: “We’ve realised the importance of being active and healthy to help manage childhood diabetes. We’ve learnt that having diabetes doesn’t mean she has to miss out on anything. She can still go to parkrun and enjoy the event with her friends and siblings.
All of the volunteers, parents and kids are all there for the same reason – everyone is there to encourage and support one another. The health benefits are fantastic, but the relationships and connections that are built through parkrun make the experience even better.”
We’ve compiled some common questions that many will have:
What time does it start?
junior parkrun will take place every Sunday at 8am at participating locations. This start time will remain the same at all locations. There will be no geographic or seasonal variances.
What is the age range of children that can participate?
junior parkrun is for children aged between 4-14 years of age
Can my children run or walk by themselves?
Yes. Children do not have to run or walk with an adult.
How can adults participate?
Adults can participate with children, and many choose to, but only those aged between 4 to 14 years old who completed the entire 2km on foot (eg. not in a pram or carried) should cross the finish line and be recorded in the results. We ask adults that do participate not enter the finish funnel. Adults are welcome to volunteer.
How can I volunteer at junior parkrun?
It is a requirement of all junior parkrun events in Australia that all volunteers hold a current Working with Children Check (WWCC) or its equivalent in the State they wish to volunteer. Marshals must be positioned no more than 100m apart and must maintain a line of sight to the next marshal.
Are all the volunteering roles the same?
Most of the roles are identical to our 5km series, however, there are no pacers or photographers at our junior events. There is a mandatory warm-up leader position that is only available at junior parkrun.
Can I participate with my dog?
No dogs allowed. For the safety of the event and children, we have taken the decision that dogs can not participate at junior parkrun.
Are there milestones for junior parkrun?
Yes. Participation wristbands are available to juniors who complete:
These are handed out at each event on the day.
How can I establish a junior parkrun event in my community?
To launch an event you’ll need to:
I’m confident I can meet the criteria to launch an event, what do I do next?
It is a requirement of being an Event Director or Run Director for junior parkrun that you formally register your expression of interest which will be reviewed by the parkrun Australia Safeguarding Lead. If you want to register an expression of interest – click here. It is also a requirement that you must undertake the free ‘Child Protection’ online course by ‘Play By the Rules’.
How many events will be launched?
Over the next 12 months, we plan to launch no more than 6 events. Our initial focus will be in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, ACT and South Australia as these locations offer free WWCCs for volunteers.
Where can I find an event near me?
To find a junior parkrun event near you, please visit our events page
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