Thursday 21 March marks #WorldDownSyndromeDay and for 2019, the message is #LeaveNoOneBehind – something which fits in with parkrun’s inclusive environment.
At Pontefract junior parkrun last Sunday 17 March, Wakefield and District Down Syndrome Support Group held a volunteering event to help raise awareness of Down syndrome, and celebrate the fantastic achievements and abilities of the children and young people.
152 children aged 4-14 took part, including 22 who were taking part in junior parkrun for the very first time. The youngest group member, Phoebe, watched on in her pram, whilst many others and their siblings all completed the course.
Some of the older members of the group volunteered at the finish funnel, helping to show that children with Down syndrome are just like any others. On the day, the group also helped educate the wider community about Down syndrome.
Some of the feedback included:
Head Teacher from a local school: “Thank you all for another fantastic event to raise awareness, friendliness and amazing generosity. I know the children will be talking about this at school on Monday! Hopefully we’ll see some of you again at future junior parkruns.”
Volunteer: “It was wonderful to see so many children having a fantastic time and the smiles on the faces of everyone taking part and leaving no one behind was humbling.”
junior parkrunner: “It was great running today, but made even more special seeing the fun and achievement of those taking part from the local Down syndrome group!”
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