Read more › News - 28th June 2022

Ellie, autism and parkrun

Ellie has always been an instantly recognisable and much loved Southport parkrunner. Usually clad in pink or red Lycra and large, noise-cancelling headphones, sometimes singing loudly, she is perhaps reading whilst walking or sometimes shouting and behaving bizarrely.   Her shouts reverberated around Hesketh Park as Ellie spun rapidly around the metal lamppost, holding on…

Fiona Dunbar 2
Read more › News - 13th May 2022

So much more than just a family outing

Fiona Dunbar’s family have all benefitted from regular parkrunning and volunteering after overcoming some huge obstacles in recent years.   Our parkrun journey started in a very low key way back in 2015. We went to spectate at a local event in Alice Holt Forest to cheer on a family friend who was taking part….

Emily ritson 10
Read more › News - 10th July 2020

It’s the best part of our week

Emily Ritson’s brother Ben has autism. She thought that introducing him to parkrun could be a life changing experience for him.   Here, Emily tells us all about Ben and his parkrun adventures so far.   My brother Aaron and I took up running to make sure we got our exercise as we have a…

Read more › News - 6th November 2018

Singing at the top of her voice

Ellie is 16 and has autism, which impacts on how she experiences the world and communicates with people. She attends a specialist autism sixth form college in Southport.   Ellie has always enjoyed being outdoors and loves being active so her dad and I decided to give her the opportunity to take part in Southport…

Rory and Jenny
Read more › News - 28th September 2018

Autism and learning disabilities: the power of information

parkrun has been working hard over the past two years to reach out to people with disabilities and long term health conditions through a network of volunteer parkrun Outreach Ambassadors.   Jenny Mayne, one of parkrun’s Outreach Ambassadors for autism and / or learning disabilities, tells us her own story, explaining what has inspired her…

Gerry Waterworks
Read more › junior parkrun, News - 9th July 2018

Don’t stop your feet

I started doing Waterworks parkrun in Belfast in July 2015 and my weekends haven’t been the same since. I start most weekends meeting friends, chatting, socialising and having a coffee before I’m reminded that there’s the small matter of a 5k to complete!   The following year when I noticed the banner announcing the start…

Smiling in the crowd
Read more › News - 15th January 2018

The only time you’ll see me smiling in a crowd – autism and parkrun

I’ve always felt out of place, struggled to fit in, and have never been one for competitive sports. At school I lacked the coordination for the usual team sports and would opt instead for the isolation of cross country runs as I felt safer running alone rather than being part of a crowd. My childhood…

Read more › News - 31st October 2017

The best things in life are free

This is Katerina Bragin and her six children at Maidstone parkrun. We asked Katerina to explain the impact that both running and volunteering at parkrun has had on her family, and to share her advice on fitting parkrun into busy family life.   I recently reached a special milestone – 20 years since I moved…

Samantha Hewitt
Read more › News - 30th October 2017

Better than any drug

In May this year my son Reece (11 at the time) decided to run and raise money for a defibrillator for our local parkrun in Sittingbourne, Kent.   Reece was diagnosed with high functioning autism (Asperger’s syndrome), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and developmental co-ordination problems when he was nine, after many years struggling at…

Dawn Watson and Savannah running at Livingstone parkrun
Read more › News - 25th September 2016

Savanna’s story

Trying to get my youngest daughter involved in any type of sport has always been a big challenge.   Savanna suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and has OCD tendencies, which makes her very anxious and causes her to over-analyse almost everything. For several years eating out as a family wasn’t possible because she was…