News - 1st October 2020

parkruns in Christchurch, Pegasus and Rolleston become Learning Destinations for Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University

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parkruns in Christchurch, Pegasus and Rolleston are proud to be Learning Destinations for Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University.


The University of Canterbury and Lincoln University are working in partnership to deliver the program, the first of its kind in New Zealand. Children and young people aged 7-14 can join through their school or rūnanga and aim to achieve 30 hours of learning or volunteering outside the school classroom at certified activities known as Learning Destinations. Students are then invited to attend a graduation ceremony to celebrate their achievements.


The three parkruns are the first in the world to offer young people taking part in Children’s University the opportunity to have their parkrun participation count towards the program: whether they choose to walk, jog, run or volunteer.




What is parkrun?


parkruns are free, socially focussed, community-led 5km events that are open to walkers, runners and volunteers of all ages. parkruns are not competitive and provide an opportunity for families to walk or run the 5km course or volunteer together. You can even take part with your dog on a short lead or push a baby in a pram.




When is parkrun?


parkruns take place every Saturday morning at 8am throughout the year.


Where is parkrun?


Hagley parkrun (North Hagley Park, Christchurch)
Pegasus parkrun (Lake Pegasus, North Canterbury)
Foster parkrun (Foster Park, Rolleston)




How do I sign up?


Signing up for parkrun is free and only needs to be done once. Before you come along for the first time simply register online, print your personal parkrun barcode, and bring it with you whenever you come to parkrun. Your parkrun barcode is your passport to any parkrun in the world, on any Saturday, whether you choose to walk, jog, run or volunteer.


boy vscanning with app


When you sign up with parkrun, you will have the option to choose a ‘running club’. Please feel free to select ‘Children’s University | Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi’ from the dropdown menu, which will appear beside your name each time you complete a parkrun.


Click here to register with parkrun.


Children are currently only able to join Children’s University through their school or rūnanga. Please speak to your school or rūnanga directly about whether they would be interested in becoming part of Children’s University. Further details of the program and a contact form can be found on the Children’s University website.


Walking and running at parkrun


There is no time limit for completing the 5km course and everyone takes part at their own pace. Children under the age of 11 must be within arm’s reach of a parent, guardian or designated adult of the parents’ choice at all times.


family and wheelchair


Volunteering at parkrun


Children are a part of every parkrun community and we encourage them to volunteer. Children who are volunteering should always be within close proximity of a parent or another adult of the parent’s choosing. At no point should event teams take responsibility for pairing children with an adult.




A wide range of volunteering opportunities are available at parkrun, which can help young people build and develop skills as well as being lots of fun. These include helping to mark the route before the event, marshalling on the course and handing out finish tokens as people finish the course. Young people can also help out by timekeeping, scanning people’s parkrun barcodes, helping to process the results and even coordinating the event alongside an adult.


How do I record my parkrun participation?


Participation at parkrun takes several forms: whether you choose to walk, run or volunteer you are considered a participant. As such, an hour of credit towards Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University is awarded for any form of parkrun participation.




There is no need to take your Passport to Learning with you to parkrun. After you’ve completed your walk, jog, run or volunteer, simply register your participation through the 10 hour review form in your online Children’s University portal.


The following video explains more about Te Mātāpuna Mātātahi | Children’s University:


Children at parkrun


We want young people to have an overwhelmingly positive experience at parkrun — participating because they want to, in a way they want to, in a safe environment at all times.  More information on children participating at parkrun can be found here.


Details about taking part using a wheelchair, mobility scooters and other forms of participation considered equivalent to walking, jogging or running at parkrun is here.


Please note: Children under the age of 11 must participate within arm’s reach of a parent, guardian or designated adult of the parents’ choice at all times. parkrun volunteer teams do not provide adults for children to participate with, so an accompanying adult should be arranged before arriving at parkrun.


Click here to register with parkrun.


Testimonials from families at parkrun


Click on the photos below to hear about the impact parkrun has had on these young people and their families and teachers. If you would like to share your experience about taking part in parkrun please email We would love to hear from you!








Happy parkrunning!








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