Today we are celebrating International Women’s Day and we’re proud to have welcomed nearly three million women and girls to walk, jog, run and volunteer at parkrun.
Whilst thousands of women and girls participate in parkrun every single weekend, we also know that they are less likely to come along to parkrun after they have registered.
Chrissie Wellington OBE, parkrun’s global head of health and wellbeing, discusses why we are celebrating and prioritising women and girls participation at parkrun.
parkrun and junior parkrun is for everyone: no matter who you are or where you come from. But we know that many people might struggle to turn the intention to come along to parkrun into the reality of taking part as a walker, runner or volunteer.
Whilst we want to focus on encouraging as many people as possible to participate, we also want to pay special attention to removing or minimising the barriers faced by certain groups.
And that is why we are making a special effort, linked to International Women’s Day 2023, to really encourage more women and girls to register and come down to parkrun for the very first time, and also use this opportunity to celebrate all the millions of women and girls that are part of of the parkrun community.
That’s not to say that we are solely prioritising women and girls participation, but we know from our insight that it is women and girls who are much more likely to register for parkrun and not turn up, or go once and not return.
We also know that women are far less likely to be run directors; the visible, figurehead volunteer at an event. And outside of parkrun, we know that women and girls are less likely to be physically active, for a range of different reasons. But this doesn’t have to be the case. We are able to change the status quo!
So this week, as we celebrate IWD 2023, the aim is to get as many women and girls taking part as possible. And you can help us do that!
Why not turn to a friend, a family member or a colleague, encourage them to sign up and come to parkrun or junior parkrun? Maybe you could create a group that can participate together; or perhaps you can post some super smiley photos or stories on social media for all to see.
Each and every person can be a role model for someone else, and sometimes we just have to see it to believe that we can be it.
Have a fantastic International Women’s Day, and here’s to parkrun being truly for everyone!
Chrissie Wellington OBE, global head of health and wellbeing at parkrun
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