parkrun Ireland is thrilled to announce our upcoming initiative which will run six weeks, from 18 September to 29 October 2023. #VolunteerWalkConnect is aimed at introducing people to the parkrun experience for the first time. At parkrun, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of everything we do, and, as we strive to reduce barriers to participation continually, this campaign is no exception.
We hope you will join us and play your part as a valued member of the parkrun community, on a positive journey encouraging others to experience the physical and mental health benefits of parkrun, a free weekly timed event in 105 locations across Ireland and 22 countries worldwide.
Have you ever suggested parkrun to someone and received an answer along the lines of, “I could never run 5k!”? Or perhaps you advised that there are walking and volunteer options but were still met with doubt. While other barriers may exist, taking the first step as a non-parkrunner is often the biggest barrier people face. As our research shows, once you start and make parkrun part of your weekly routine, it is great on so many levels!
For the duration of this campaign, we will be focussing on bringing first-time volunteers and walkers to the parkrun community. Volunteering is just as beneficial as walking at parkrun, According to a recent Vhi survey of those who have volunteered at parkrun:
#VolunteerWalkConnect is the name and hashtag that will be used throughout the campaign. Volunteering and walking are key areas in which people can get involved with parkrun at relative ease, while ‘connect’ alludes to the positive benefits of connecting with the community, nature, physical and mental health.
During the six weeks, we will be sharing stories from volunteers and walkers which may act as deciding factors for those yet to be involved with parkrun, in otherwise similar situations, who may be sedentary, lonely, inactive or missing out on community opportunities that parkrun can offer.
We kindly ask that members of the parkrun Ireland community place emphasis on the volunteering and walking aspects of parkrun. There will be a series of content in the form of written articles, videos and stories from the parkrun Ireland community published on our blog and social media channels. Please feel free to share any of this with your extended network.
Perhaps you want to be a part of the campaign and record your own video or take photos with volunteers and walkers. If so please use #VolunteerWalkConnect as your hashtag and tag us on social media so we can view or send us your videos and stories and we can share them with an even bigger audience.
James Dowling, parkrun Ireland
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