On Saturday 23 October a special event took place at Trelai Park parkrun in Wales.
Led by Nick Smith MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for parkrun, the morning celebrated the relaunch of parkrun in Wales as well as the parkrun practice initiative, a joint social prescribing venture between parkrun and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).
First Minister for Wales, Mark Drakeford was there to support, alongside many other special guests.
Now in its third year, the parkrun practice initiative aims to improve the health and wellbeing of staff, patients and communities by pairing GP practices with local events.
Trelai Park parkrun in Ely, Cardiff, was initiated by the Cardiff South West GP Cluster of formerly 13 surgeries, all of which are already signposting to parkrun. GP Dr Rachel Lee worked with colleagues across the South West Cardiff GP Cluster to help activate the event. Trelai Park parkrun is now an inspirational model for other surgeries to replicate, and widen the social prescribing opportunities across Wales.
The event is one of many across the UK that were established by local GP surgeries where there wasn’t already a parkrun event within a reasonable distance for practices to pair with. Another example is Land’s End parkrun in Cornwall. In this blog article Alverton Practice GP Sandra Treleven tells us how Land’s End parkrun came to be, and how the team there are now championing the event in their own backyard, encouraging other practices around them to sign up.
Alongside Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford and Nick Smith MP, at the special event showing support were Jo Stevens MP Shadow Secretary of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Kevin Brennan MP, Huw Thomas, Cardiff Council Lead Councillor, as well as representatives from RCGP and Public Health Wales.
Nick Smith MP said:
“I’ve been working with parkrun and Cardiff GP Dr Rachel Lee to promote parkrun practice in Wales and we thought that this event would be a great way to raise awareness of the initiative.
Thanks to Jo Stevens MP and Kevin Brennan MP for volunteering, to Mark Drakeford MS for supporting and Cllr Huw Thomas the Cardiff Council Leader for parkrunning alongside – or more accurately ‘ahead of’ – me. It was a really great morning.
Becoming a parkrun practice is about encouraging GPs and their staff to feel confident in signposting patients – particularly those who have long-term health conditions – to parkrun events, as well as being a valuable resource for practice staff to look after their health and wellbeing too.”
To find out more about the parkrun practice initiative click here.
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