News - 2nd January 2020

A wonderful free resource

Navan cover

As parkrun Ireland announces partnership with the Irish College of General Practitioners, Dr. Deborah Ryan talks to us about a recent GP takeover at Navan parkrun, County Meath.


I was really excited to spearhead the initiative to takeover Navan parkrun, on behalf of the Meath Faculty of the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP). On the day we welcomed GPs, nurses and practice staff from a number of local GP practices.


Taking on the volunteer roles for the morning was a great way for me and my colleagues to see for ourselves what parkrun has to offer for our patients, and also for other staff in our practices. There’s just no better way than seeing and experiencing the power of parkrun for yourself.




It was a wet start to the morning, but 132 walkers, joggers and runners refused to be deterred. And those who had made it along were duly rewarded, as the rain cleared in perfect time for the start.


I was able to say a few words after the parkrun to express my thanks to the whole team at Navan for welcoming the idea of our little takeover and for starting to forge those all important links with local GP practices in the area.


Working in General Practice you see first-hand the effects of inactivity and social isolation. parkrun provides a wonderful opportunity for everyone to get outside and exercise, and be involved in their local communities, in only a very slightly competitive environment! The only competition really is with yourself.


Navan Volunteers (1) (1)


Personally, I’m a keen runner and have completed a number of Dublin City Marathons. I’m secretary of the Meath Faculty of the Irish College of General Practitioners and I really wanted to make that link with Navan parkrun. It’s so important for us to enable local healthcare practitioners to ‘prescribe’ physical activity for our patients.


For us working in the GP practice, if we’re actually parkrunners ourselves, it makes it so much easier for us to encourage our patients to attend. There are multiple studies out there showing the benefits of regular exercise. Proving it has a positive impact on the health and longevity of the population as a whole.


parkrun is a wonderful free resource that can help us all acheive our exercise targets, making us both healthier and happier


Dr. Deborah Ryan


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