Alfie Grice was born with a rare birth defect that means he has severe developmental and learning difficulties.
His dad, Mark, tells us how important parkrun has been for Alfie, and the special moments they have experienced together as a family in their local park.
My son Alfie, aged six, was born with ACC (Agenesis of the corpus callosum) which means the centrepiece connecting the two parts of the brain fails to develop during pregnancy. As a result, Alfie has severe developmental and learning difficulties as well as behavioural issues.
Recently, Shrewsbury parkrun hosted an event to encourage individuals with learning disabilities to take part in physical activity. On the day Alfie helped marshal alongside me, as I am part of the core volunteer team.
Alfie had great fun cheering and clapping everyone on the day which including more than 60 individuals with learning difficulties and their families.
Since then, Alfie has taken part in junior parkrun events along with his older sister Mollie, who also regularly volunteers. The great thing about parkruns is the Tail Walker role, so we know each week there will always be a volunteer walking the course.
The 2k distance is still quite far for Alfie to manage at this stage due to his condition, so we usually combine our junior parkrun with volunteering as the Tail Walker.
We walk most of the route, but the excitement on his face when he is cheered over the finish line by the other volunteers is clear to see!
Thank you parkrun for giving me moments like this.
To celebrate our 19th birthday, we’re taking a look back through the first 19 years of parkrunning! The beginning On Saturday 2 October 2004, 13 runners and five volunteers turned up to Bushy Park in Teddington, London, for a free, timed, 5k run, known then as the Bushy Park Time Trial. Paul…
Volunteers across the board, whatever their role, are fundamental to the long-term success of parkrun. They are the social glue that holds everything together and are one of the factors that make parkrun so special. On parkrun’s 19th anniversary we’d like to celebrate these wonderful people. Since the first event in 2004, we have significantly…