Sunday marked quite a moment for my husband and I. It was exactly one year and one week since the day our then 4 year old registered for her very own parkrun barcode.
Being involved with parkrun since 2007 you can imagine this was a very exciting day as Rosie has been to parkrun on a Saturday morning since the day she was born; exempt only for illness or holiday.
What we hadn’t expected one year and one week ago was that just registering for junior parkrun was plenty for Rosie Williams. Run it? No thanks. We were surprised. Rosie is a confident, outgoing kid with the ability to walk for miles so why did she not want to do the junior parkrun that was on her doorstep? “I just don’t want to Mummy”. So we left it and pressed her no more.
Sunday 23rd October we had 104 wonderful runners, 27 personal bests and 10 first timers… and Rosie Pink Williams was one of those first timers. Helped by the friends she’s made through just being in the park every Sunday made it all the more special.
And as she skipped along with me and Amelie and collected the cones with Florence (holding hands with her mummy) she completed her first ever junior parkrun and all it took was patience and time.
The thing I’ve learnt along the junior parkrun process (since helping start it up last October) is that actually Rosie (and now her brother Aston) have been getting the benefit of junior parkrun without even doing it because we are in Valley Gardens rain, snow or blow from 8am on a Sunday morning every week and they’ve both made new and wonderful friends which they hoon around with before and they hoon around with afterwards.
And that’s down to the community spirit that parkrun brings. So if you have a reticent child, just bring them anyway. Let them watch, let them play, let them volunteer because they’ll make friends and who knows, like Rosie they might eventually decide it’s time to join the parkrun family
I imagine it may very well be another one year and one week before she does another one!
Happy junior parkrunning.
Helen (A6014) and the very wilful Rosie Pink Williams (A1966817)
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