Jeremie Lamothe struggled to find accessible, inclusive exercise opportunities in his community; as a result Gillies Lake parkrun was born! Get ready Timmins, ON – Gillies Lake parkrun is coming this Saturday!
My name is Jeremie and I’m the Run Director of the Gillies Lake parkrun. On the surface, I’m a pretty average young guy who runs quite regularly and enjoys meeting new people through sport. I also shamelessly spend many hours playing video games or watching tv series, very much like many of the youths of today. Other than that, public health has always been something that interested me. Completing a bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics has done a good job at convincing me that physical activity is really, really good for people’s health. I since figured that the best way that I can contribute to the community and to public health was by advocating physical activity.
During my studies, I found myself often reminiscing about my time running cross country in high school. The sense of belonging, camaraderie and rich culture was deeply fulfilling to me. I continued running after high school, but the experience was very dry. I started a running club a few years ago to try to emulate my experience in high school and to introduce more people to the sport. Unfortunately, there were many barriers keeping me from fully bringing vision to reality. Through the club, I did get to know some amazing people. Some of them, such as Christian and Marc, are part of the Gillies Lake parkrun committee today. All in all, I really struggled to offer an opportunity for people of all skill level and ages to be physically active.
parkrun offers everything that I wanted from the running club, and more! Free, safe, fun, open to runners and walkers of all levels, unique culture, community driven… the list goes on. I found out about parkrun through a short quirky Australian parkrun promotional video on Instragram. Since my girlfriend is from Australia, I see a lot of Australian stuff on social media. It may sound kind of weird, but I had chills at the end of the short promotional video. Well done parkrun AU!
Fast forward to today! We have a team of 5 people working on starting a parkrun at our home town. Christian, Marc, Lee-Ann, Sophie and I are all active minded community members with a genuine interest in encouraging others to set goals, support each other, and come together as a community. We all share the common goal to support healthy active living in our community.
We selected Gillies Lake as our location because it’s nestled directly in the heart of the City of Timmins. Timmins is very much a mining town and as a result it is often called “the city with the heart of gold”. The creation of the Gillies Lake Promenade was part of one of many rejuvenation projects to maintain the beauty of Timmins. The lake’s 2.3km loop trail connects to a vast trail system, which is honestly my favourite part of the city.
We hope that Gillies Lake parkrun will become a pillar within the community. A pillar that offers a start point for those wanting to adopt a physically active lifestyle, a foundation for the active community to build themselves upon, and an overall fun experience. Come join us on the very first Gillies Lake parkrun on Saturday June 1st at 9:00 am!
Jeremie Lamothe, Gillies Lake parkrun Event Director
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