#parkrunfamily

Back in March, Helen invited us to ‘Take a breath’ and updated us on some of the numbers behind the junior parkrun family.

Fast forward a few months to today and we are continuing to grow every single week!

There are now 112 junior parkrun events - 110 weekly and 2 monthly - which is a 133% increase in the number of events compared to the same weekend last year.

This weekend we welcomed two new events as Cheddar juniors and Durham City juniors took their very first steps, and six more junior parkruns are also joining the family before the end of July.
 

Cheddar juniors event #1

 

On Sunday we timed an incredible 8,459 juniors across the finish line (more than double the number of juniors who took part on Easter Sunday) meaning 73,858 juniors have now experienced the joy of junior parkrun.

 

Of course junior parkrun is much more than just a free 2k run, jog or walk for 4 to 14 year olds; it’s also an amazing opportunity to hang out with some really cool people who share the passion of wearing hi-vis vests on a Sunday morning. An awesome 1,909 volunteers helped make 100 junior parkruns happen last weekend!
 

FoD volunteers

 

It’s always fantastic to see lots of event anniversaries being celebrated and illustrates perfectly how junior parkrun brings people from all walks of life together. Last weekend Great Notley, Telford and Moormead junior parkruns all turned one-year-old and they all celebrated in style.

 

Anniversary celebrations

 

The #parkrunfamily is something extremely special, and everyone is invited to be part of it!

 

We are helping spark a love for physical activity in thousands of young people, where their first experience of running, jogging and walking is an altogether positive one.

 

Rowan

Engagement Officer
@parkrunrowan

 

Comradeship

I was sitting in the café after another successful junior parkrun morning, enjoying my coffee and thinking about the week ahead. Wouldn’t it be great if every day could start with a parkrun I thought? I bet lots of you think that too.

Anyway, I was wondering what I might write about for this newsletter and decided to canvass those around me for their lasting impressions of that particular morning. One word shone through – Comradeship.

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I love this word and think it speaks volumes about my experience of parkrun world. Wherever I turn up to parkrun, there is always a friendly welcome. However, the more often I go to the same event, the more I feel part of that family and begin to build some lasting bonds. The comradeship that I noticed this weekend was twofold.

There was a little girl who ran with her brother at his first parkrun. They were at the back of the field but she did everything she could to help and support him to keep going when the going got tough. As they came towards the finish, other children joined her to clap him and cheer him in. He was a bit daunted by the funnel and hesitant to enter it but she reassured him and coaxed him along. Pure magic to watch. The great thing is that at junior parkrun, it’s not that rare. We can all quote examples of this. And we should. We can be really proud of our kids.

comradeship

The second instance was the action of our regular first female finisher who always comes back to the finish line and encourages everyone else through to the finish. It is one of those things which she really doesn’t need to do but chooses to and it’s very much appreciated! Paul Graham, who started the very first junior parkrun in Bushy Park shared this model with me which he believes is the essence of juniors:

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Running is our doing.

Being is our volunteering as we be a part of our community.

Becoming is our change as we feel the changes that happen in our lives.

Belonging is the result.

#loveparkrun

JSH

Event Support and Activation Manager

 

Viva la volunteer!

Last month, I volunteered as a ‘Funnel Manager’ at Highbury Fields junior parkrun. This was my first time volunteering at a junior parkrun and I LOVED IT! It genuinely was so much fun, and really easy. I usually arrive at parkrun four minutes before the start, but because I was volunteering, I was there nice and early so I got a really good briefing from the Run Director and could ask lots of questions so I knew exactly what to do! I also got to chat to loads of young runners, and their parents/ big sisters/ uncles/ grandmas as they arrived.

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Joining in the warm up made me laugh loads, and before I knew it they were off! After about 100 high-fives, I got in position, ready to help keep everyone in order as they passed through the finish funnel. I’ve done this on a Saturday, and believe me, the kids are way better behaved than the grown ups!

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Afterwards, it was a quick pack away before we were off to a local café for a well-deserved hot chocolate and croissant… and I was still home before 11.

There are so many roles you can take on at a junior parkrun, from a nice, sedentary timekeeper to a more active tail runner. And heaps of roles that you can do as a family – there is nothing my two-year-old likes more than helping me with the ‘beepy scranning’ (barcode scanning!!).

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When I went to Highbury Fields, we had just over 100 young runners, and 12 volunteers. And all of them played a vital role. It’s very simple; without volunteers, parkrun and junior parkrun couldn’t exist. My challenge to all of you is to volunteer in a new role before the end of the summer (or convince mum/ dad/ granny/ uncle to do it!). It’s super easy and will make you feel good all day. To sign up, either click on ‘future roster’ on your junior parkrun homepage (here’s the Highbury Fields one, yours will look very similar!) or chat to the run director.

What are you waiting for?!

#loveparkrun

Clare Fowler

Safeguarding Lead at parkrun UK

(thanks to Bruce Li for the brilliant photos)

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