Alfie. It’s all about Alfie, and all those other junior parkrunners and their families who are having a whale of a time at our junior parkrun community events, and I include Hoods3 in that
I wrote about my own son - the work experience lad - way back in September 2015 lamenting the fact that he was 15, but here we are a year later and he’s still at a junior event most weeks fashionably attired in hi-vis and doing his crazy jumps in the volunteer photos.
We absolutely love junior parkrun in our house and we try to get along to one as often as we can, recently jogging along to Warrington junior parkrun to help out at event 41. It was a busy day for racing in Warrington that day so they were pleased to have three extra volunteers, and we were honoured to receive an invitation to join some of the team at the Family Mile later that day too.
We were warmly welcomed by the Run Director, Damian, who handed us our hi-vis jackets and introduced us to the other volunteers. “I hear you like to lead the warm-up Helen… and I’ve got a helper lined up for you. Meet Alfie.” A little boy turned around and gave me a big smile and a wave, and a few minutes later we were up on the bench getting the troops moving!
After the main event we headed for the cafe to upload the results and refuel while Alfie sorted out the tokens, and then it was time to make our way to the city centre for the Warrington Family Mile
On arrival we spotted Alfie and went over to chat with his mum (who’d just zipped round the half marathon) and his dad, who told me that junior parkrun had done wonders for his son’s confidence over the past year.
Chatting with Louise by email after the event this is what she had to say:
“When we heard they were setting up a junior parkrun in Warrington, we were over the moon and we got involved with volunteering as much as we could. Alfie went along to the trial event and loved it, and either Gareth or I would always stay with him, hold his hand and encourage him. After a couple of months, Alfie really wanted to do it on his own, so we would just be at different places on the course cheering him on.
“He was very pleased to receive his half marathon and marathon participation wristbands, and he’s looking forward to earning his ultra band too.
“Each week he can’t wait to help with the warm up and high five the volunteers, and he loves running around the route – he tries so hard and always has a smile. He also loves helping at the finish, taking the signs to the hut or collecting bibs, sorting out the tokens and making energy flapjacks to share with everyone.
“Gareth and I are so proud of him and we are both proud to be a part of it too.
“We can’t thank you enough for facilitating this event each week, what a wonderful way of bringing kids together for half an hour to get lots of support and encouragement whatever their ability!”
I couldn’t agree more Louise. That’s what junior parkrun is all about. Helping these little people grow in more ways than one.
Thank you to everyone at Warrington junior parkrun for being so kind and making us feel so welcome when we visited. And thank you to each and every one of our fabulous volunteers across the UK who make the junior parkrun magic happen every week for people like Alfie, Louise and Gareth.
Getting involved is easy. Be a part of something special #loveparkrun
Head of Event Delivery
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