parkrun announced as major partner of Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University

parkrun has teamed up with sports scientists, engineers, psychologists and public health experts from Sheffield Hallam University to develop ways to improve the health and wellbeing of the UK population.

The new partnership, which was launched at Sheffield Hallam parkrun on Saturday 10 September, will enable academics at the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) to look at how the free running events are impacting on health outcomes and conduct research into the nation's physical activity levels.

Chief Operating Officer for parkrun Tom Williams said: "This partnership will provide an exciting opportunity for us to support research into exercise, wellbeing and social cohesion, which fits with our vision of creating a healthier and happier planet.

"As the world's largest community of runners and volunteers we have a unique ability to support researchers in understanding how behaviour impacts health and wellbeing."

Partnership launch with Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre

The AWRC is delivered alongside Legacy Park Ltd at Sheffield's Olympic Legacy Park (OLP) which is a joint venture between Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield City Council.

Largely on the site of the former Don Valley Stadium in Attercliffe, Sheffield, the OLP will be home to range of world-class sports and exercise facilities, giving members of the public the chance to improve their health and wellbeing alongside elite athletes and sports men and women.

The OLP site will be landscaped to include a 1k running loop that will allow for a junior parkrun to be established.

Professor Steve Haake, director of the AWRC, said: "This is a huge step towards our vision of developing the most advanced research and development centre for physical activity in the world.

"parkrun is an internationally renowned organisation that hosts almost 1,000 runs per week across the world. Their aims mirror ours in that they want to make it as easy as possible for people to be physically active and help them to live better for longer."

Partnership launch with Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre

parkrun is the third organisation to sign up to be a major partner of the AWRC after Toshiba and Westfield Health provided £3million of cutting edge equipment and research funding.

The AWRC is set to become the most advanced research and development centre for physical activity in the world, creating 'innovations that help people move' in sport, health-care, physical activity and leisure and will work with the private sector to design new products and services from initial concept all the way through to market.

A short video of the launch event featuring interviews with Tom Williams and Steve Haake is available here.

 

parkrun and GoodGym join forces to help vulnerable people

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parkrun and GoodGym, two of the UK’s biggest providers of free, organised physical activity and volunteering have joined forces in an exciting new partnership to extend their positive impact by engaging runners in supporting 60,000 older people by 2020.

Since 2004, parkrun has grown from 13 runners in London’s Bushy Park to become the world’s biggest running event. More than 150,000 runners and walkers of all ages take part in parkruns every weekend across 14 countries, thanks to the contribution of more than 10,000 weekly volunteers.

GoodGym is a growing community of runners who combine exercise with helping local communities. Members stop off on runs to support isolated older people and undertake manual labour for community organisations. GoodGym runners have carried out thousands of runs to help older people in London and Bristol, and GoodGym aims to launch in every city in the UK by 2018.

parkrun and GoodGym will make it easier than ever for people to get involved in volunteering and physical activity. Through the partnership, which will include website integration, parkrunners will be invited to GoodGym runs and GoodGym runners will be invited to parkrun. The organisations will also aim to collaborate to bring their work to new cities. Following the partnership launch at Mile End parkrun on Saturday 10 September, a group of people ran to Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and planted 1,500 bulbs and cleared ivy from gravestones.

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There are a million people in the UK who are often lonely, and 2.4 million who have no one local to ask for help. The aim of this partnership is to simultaneously increase physical activity and reduce the number of people who feel isolated and lonely.

Nick Pearson, parkrun CEO said: “GoodGym share our vision to create a healthier and happier planet. Together we can do this by providing free physical activity, removing barriers to participation and creating inclusive, welcoming communities and friendships.

“A number of parkrunners already contribute their time to GoodGym projects, and we hope this partnership will provide a pathway for even more to join in and support both community projects and older people in their local areas.”

Ivo Gormley, founder of GoodGym said: “If you are running in a city, you are probably running past the house of someone who is alone and who hasn’t seen family or friends for days, possibly weeks. This partnership will make it easier for runners to stop off and support those people older people wherever they live.

“Getting involved with both GoodGym and parkrun allows you to meet loads of amazing people, improve your running and do lots of good for your local community. parkrun and GoodGym offer a range of activities that can make the UK a healthier, happier place to live in, not just for those who run.”

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Further details about the partnership will be announced shortly.

Photos courtesy of Bruce Li

 

smile and say cheese!

A big part of my job here at parkrun is making sure we are all doing everything we can to keep our entire parkrun family – runners, walkers, volunteers, children, adults – as safe and happy as possible.

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This means that every now and again we’ll be introducing slightly new or different ways of doing things. These changes will be small. Most people won’t have to change anything at all, a few people will just have to do things a little bit differently. What I won’t be doing is asking anyone to do anything in a way that will stop them enjoying parkrun, or that will mean parkrun is no longer as brilliant as it is today.

Coming soon is a new ‘photo and video policy’, to help us all make sure that parkrun related photos and videos are used in a positive, friendly and safe way. parkrun has nearly a million followers on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as well as huge numbers of people looking at the parkrun websites and newsletters. This means that if someone takes a photo or video of you at parkrun, it has the potential to be viewed by millions of people. Which is a BRILLIANT thing (I know I love it!) as long as that photo or video is positive, and one you are happy with.

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Sadly, we all know about some of the negative sides to social media. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all amazing, I wouldn’t do without any of them in my life, but only when used sensibly and safely. Imagine someone took a photo of you that you didn’t like, and then put it on Facebook with your full name so everyone could find you, and someone nasty saw the photo and decided to say unpleasant things at school… it’s this sort of thing I try and stop happening with the ‘photo and video policy’.

What I don’t want is for you all to stop taking, posing for and tweeting photos. They’re a brilliant way of letting everyone know just how much fun we have every week.

Here is a sneak preview of the policy…

1. No names. Ideally, no full names would be attached to images of individuals. If the story/ communication would benefit from names being included, only use first names. As with all things parkrun, please let common sense prevail: if you have permission to attach someone’s name to a photo/ someone has been pleading with you to use their photo then of course it’s OK.
2. No ID. Avoid the inclusion of detailed information that could make individuals easy to trace, e.g. no pictures of children in a specific school uniform.
3. Appropriate clothing. Only use images of people in suitable dress to reduce the risk of inappropriate use, e.g. no pictures of people in swimwear.
4. Think positive. Images that are published or shared should positively reflect people’s involvement in parkrun, e.g. smiling and laughing parkrunners, not anxious or unhappy ones.
5. Be inclusive. Wherever possible, photographs should include groups, not individuals, and should represent the broad range of people participating, e.g. boys and girls, people with disabilities, members of all communities. Again, let common sense prevail: if the purpose of a photo is to illustrate a story about an individual’s achievement then of course it is ok to be of just that individual.
6. Delete if asked. If an individual, a parent or a carer asks for any photo to be removed or deleted, it should be done without question at the earliest opportunity.
7. Permission. Due to parkrun events taking place in public settings, it is not possible for individuals to opt in or out of being photographed/ filmed at an event. For this reason, it’s important that all event-specific websites state that photographing or filming is likely to take place. If you know in advance that specific/ out of the ordinary photography is going to take place on a specific week, e.g. parkrun are sending someone to take a video to be used for a specific promotional purpose, alert people to this beforehand via social media and your website, and include it in your pre-run briefing.
8. Volunteer photographers. At times, parkrun events will have a volunteer photographer in attendance. This is someone who is taking photographs/ videos for inclusion in parkrun UK communication and social media channels. Photographers must:
• register as an official volunteer
• make themselves known to the Run Director
• wear a high-vis vest at all times during the event

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#loveparkrun

Clare

Safeguarding Lead
@parkrunclare

P.S. A word from Mike Graney, A41158, and Head of Analysis:
"Through September we are running an online survey of junior parkrun participants. This will include questions for both parents/carers and the young participants themselves. The goal is to help build an understanding of your experience of junior parkrun and the impacts it has on the young people who take part, their families and the communities we are part of. If you receive an email invitation to complete the survey, please do the best you can to take five minutes or so to complete it so we can get the best quality data we can. Mank thanks, Mike."

As always, a giant thank you to Bruce Li for the photos

 

a new lease of life – weekly newsletter 8 September 2016

David Mushet

a new lease of life

 

In this week’s newsletter, we have an inspirational story from David Mushet as part of Organ Donation Week, you have the chance to win a signed shirt from Olympic Gold Medalist Alistair Brownlee, and there is the opportunity to join the parkrun UK team as an Ambassador.

Leading up to Greenock parkrun’s second anniversary, parkrunners were invited to note down in a book their reasons for participating. David Mushet wrote the following: 

“I started parkrun after Richard Cooper suggested that the flat paved course would be ideal training for representing Great Britain in the World Transplant Games. Everyone was supportive and I kept coming back. Now some dodgy Greenock woman has talked me into starting one in Paisley!” 

David explains how his organ transplant gave him a new lease of life and why he and his family are healthier and happier as a result:

"In 2002 I acquired Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, a chronic liver disease that affects the bile ducts and ultimately leads to liver failure. I experienced periods of chronic fatigue, and my skin became so jaundiced that I looked a bit like Homer Simpson.

Then in late 2012, after a spell in my local hospital, I was transferred to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and following some tests was listed for transplantation. Within two weeks I had a new liver. 

My transplant completely transformed me and gave me a new zest for life. I had been heavily involved in football for a long time but unable to participate because of constant fatigue, so the thought of being able to try lots of new activities was incredibly exciting. 

I knew my recovery would be a long process and I wouldn’t be challenging Usain Bolt any time soon – my first 100 metre walk took 30 minutes – but steadily I built up my strength. I was walking every day and doing exercises prescribed by my physiotherapist, and two months after my transplant I began cycling. By late summer I was healthy enough to return to work.

During my recovery my physio mentioned the British Transplant Games and we used that as a target. This annual competition is all about demonstrating the benefits of transplantation, increasing public awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register, and encouraging transplant patients to regain fitness.

As I had walked then cycled (both low impact activities) during my recovery period, I competed in the 5k Race Walk and two cycling events – the 5k Time Trial and the 10k Road Race. I won the gold medal in the 5k Race Walk, and was lucky enough to be selected to represent Great Britain at the 2015 World Transplant Games in Argentina.

Knowing I would need to improve my times and fitness, a work colleague suggested that Greenock parkrun would be ideal for me. I contacted the volunteer team to see if they could accommodate a walker, and they were incredibly supportive of what I was trying to do and why I was doing it. It was a similar situation with local parkrunners, who were very encouraging and always there at the finish to cheer me home. The community spirit was amazing. 

As a family we became fitter than what we had been pre-transplant, with my wife, son and daughter accompanying me to different sports and events, and my wife Lesley started taking part in parkrun with me.

Over time I became more involved with parkrun as both a participant and volunteer. This led to me being part of the core team that established Linwood parkrun earlier this year, where I am now the Event Director.

My advice to anyone who has had a transplant is to follow the exercise regime advised by your physiotherapist, and come along to your local parkrun! You don’t need to run, or even walk for that matter, because simply immersing yourself in a friendly and welcoming environment is a positive experience in itself. 

If you want to experience something completely different, contact your local Transplant Sport Team Manager and come along and participate in the annual British Transplant Games. Because, just like parkrun, it caters for all ages and abilities and you’ll meet lots of people who have been in the same position as you."

David Mushet 
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You can also ready the stories of Tony Scott and Phil Cairnduff, both regular parkrunners who have also had organ transplants.

Organ Donation Week runs from 5-11 September - You can find out more here


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back to parkrun!

Intersport: Back to school can only mean one thing…back to parkrun! If you’ve had a break from parkrun over the summer holidays, the arrival of September and return to routine puts that familiar 9am family parkrun slot on a Saturday back in the diary. Phew. 

Now the kids are sorted, it’s time to kit yourselves out with some of our stylish new arrivals from your favourite brands. Whether you’re after a reflective vest, a windproof outer layer or some new high performance running shoes, pop down to your local Intersport (find your nearest store here)and we’ll help you pick out the best gear for your autumn runs.

Remember that you can claim 10% off at Intersport as part of our ongoing parkrun partnership price #PPP*. Simply show your parkrun barcode in store (#DFYB) to claim 10% off running products, or use code PARKRUN10 when shopping online at www.intersport.co.uk for 10% off your entire order. 

Send us your pictures via Twitter @Intersport_UK  #loveparkrun and like us on Facebook to keep up with what’s going on.

See you at your next parkrun!


*PPP valid at all participating Intersport stores; see our website for details. ** Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion.


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find your adventure with Fitbit 

Fitbit: Variety is key to keeping your fitness routine fresh, so we’ve updated the Fitbit app Challenges to include something new. Introducing Fitbit Adventures. 

This new addition is one that will really take you places - California’s Yosemite National Park, to be exact. Unlike our other Challenges, Adventures is a personal immersive experience that’s a non-competitive exploration of one of the world’s greatest natural beauty spots, to encourage you to move more.

So how does it work?  Every day you’ll be challenged to reach a new destination on the trail which is determined from your past step data, so that the goal is challenging but still achievable. As you step your way through the adventure, you’ll see the stunning Yosemite National Park through the lense of world-class outdoor photographer Chris Burkard and find out facts about this international treasure. 

Try the trail on the Fitbit app now, Read more about Fitbit Adventures on our blog here and keep your eyes peeled - because the Big Apple is up next! New York City will be added to Adventures soon, plus other great destinations are in the pipeline. 

Haven’t got a Fitbit yet and want to explore? Take advantage of the exclusive parkrunner discount and shop your online store here

In case you missed it, we just launched the latest Fitbit trackers, the Charge 2 and Flex 2. Packed with new features these will take your stepping to another level - check it out here.


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a group effort

ARUKThis week we’d like to introduce you to three wonderful women who have collectively run nearly 500 parkruns! Becky Thurtell, Sue Armstrong and Judith Prentis are tackling the Great North Run in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UKon Sunday. But it wouldn’t be possible without parkrun UK, which has helped the trio get their fitness levels up and enabled them to take on the 13.1 mile half marathon challenge. 

Becky has been joining in with parkrun most Saturdays since 2005, just a few months after parkrun started. Her local is Bushy Park, but she is now a keen 'tourist' and travels to a different parkrun most weekends. 

Judith only took up running in January 2014, when she embarked on her very first parkrun. At the time Judith walked the entire course in walking boots, and finished with a time of 46 minutes and 53 seconds.

Since then she has come on leaps and bounds and attends her local parkrun at Wimbledon Common nearly every week. Last week she finished with a personal best of 30 minutes and 13 seconds.  Meanwhile Sue has moved to Herefordshire from London and now goes to Worcester parkrun instead of Bushy Park.

The group, who became friends while studying a postgraduate course, decided to take on the Great North Run to raise money for vital dementia research. 

Becky’s 89-year-old father has had Alzheimer's for nine years and lives in a care home, while her 83-year-old mother was diagnosed more recently and can no longer cope living on her own. She now has a live-in carer to assist her with personal care and daily household tasks.

Becky said: “My father no longer recognises me, which is extremely distressing for my whole family. My mum gets by with the help of carers, but things have changed so much.

“We’re raising money because we want to do everything we can to stop this devastating condition so future generations do not have to go through the same experience my family has had to go through.”

Sue is running in honour of her nan who sadly passed away with dementia in 2000. Sue said: “I’ll be thinking of my nan every step of the way. It was so distressing to see her change in the way she did.”

To donate to their fundraising page go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BeckySueWiggyGNR


go tri

win a signed shirt from Alistair Brownlee

GO TRI: Ever fancied giving triathlon a go?

This summer Team GB triathletes made history in Rio, bringing back their biggest Olympic medal haul to date. Millions of Brits tuned in to watch and now British Triathlon are out to turn inspiration into participation.

In an exciting new campaign, #YourGOTRI lets you create your own personal triathlon by selecting a swim, cycle and run from a range of fun activities.

After creating your event you’ll then be sent a bunch of handy hints and tips to help you on your way, making completing your triathlon a complete breeze.

What’s more, create your event before Sunday 18 September and you could win a signed t-shirt from Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee and bronze medal winner Vicky Holland.

By completing a parkrun, you’re already a third of the way to being able to call yourself a triathlete.

Click here to create your triathlon today!


random stat of the week

25,988 different people have volunteered as timekeeper at UK parkrun events.  Always there whatever the weather to help make sure we get our results!


 

parkrun population

This week’s UK statistics for parkrun and junior parkrun:

101,142 parkrunners
9,876 volunteers
18,597 PBs
7,241 first-timers

#parkrunfamily


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join our parkrun Ambassadors Programme

- Are you an experienced Event Director, Run Director or core volunteer?

- Would you like to help activate new events?

- Would you like to support other events?

If the answer is "Yes" then you could be one of our Event Ambassadors! The parkrun Ambassador Programme was created in 2013 as a national support network of around 100 skilled and experienced volunteers for parkrun UK events. 

Ambassadors help design courses, meet with councils, generate funding, resolve disputes, train teams and generally help out at parkrun events near them. Working closely with HQ staff, Ambassadors are or have previously been Event Directors, Run Directors or active members of a core event team.

We are actively recruiting in the following areas of the UK:

Scotland
- Ayrshire
- North & South Lanarkshire

North England
North West England
North East England
- Humberside
- South Yorkshire

Midlands
East Midlands

Greater London
- North East London
- East London

South West England
- Devon
- Cornwall
Forest of Dean and surrounding area

Ambassadors are a fountain of knowledge of all things parkrun and how it operates. They are champions and guardians of the parkrun ethos. They also act as a link between events and help facilitate cross fertilisation of ideas, best practice, problem solving and solution finding

The role profile describes in more detail what is involved and required in terms of skills and time commitment. If after reading this you would like to be considered please register your interest by completing this form. If you need assistance in completing the survey please contact Cathy Martin (Administrator).

Jaz Bangerh
Head of HR & Volunteer Management


Let us know if you have an interesting parkrun story or photo to share.

You can follow us on Twitter here, Facebook here, or on Instagram here.

 

Tony Scott, Harrow parkrun

In 1981 I ran the very first London Marathon. I was 39 years old and a PE teacher in North London - because I wasn’t good enough to be a professional footballer!

My interest in running came about through my job and I never used to send my students for a run - I took them for a run. I ran two more London Marathons, but by the mid-eighties my health started to deteriorate (due to Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis) and in 1988 I was told that I would need a liver transplant in about ten years time, and it was exactly that.

Eventually I remember coming back from a four mile run and recording in my training diary: “I have just run a personal worst, will I ever be able to run again?"

Over time I became enormously anaemic, my skin turned yellow and I stopped driving because I was concerned I would fall asleep at the wheel. I became weak, had no energy, and certainly couldn’t run or lift weights. I was in the depths of despair.

In February 1998 I got the 'phone call' and then my transplant, and immediately set about regaining my fitness.

I asked for an exercise bike in my ward, and after four days I got one on the basis that I promised to be sensible. When I got home I started walking but remembered that if you walk 50 metres out then you have to walk 50 metres back home again!

I was sensible and I built up my fitness steadily. After about six months I could jog a couple of miles, and in 2003 I heard about the British and World Transplant Games, which I have been competing in ever since. I’ve represented my hospital (Addenbrookes) at ten and Team GB at six World Transplant Games, winning gold in France, Canada, Thailand, Australia, Sweden and Argentina where I won four gold medals and set new world records in my age group (70+) for 400m, 800m, 1500m and 5000m.

I am hoping to get selected for the 2017 World Transplant Games in Malaga and am expecting a selection letter in the next few days.

A few years ago, a former pupil emailed me and asked if I’d heard of parkrun. He was going to Hampstead Heath parkrun, so we went along to the inaugural, and I then began running at Harrow parkrun when it launched as it’s closer to home. I take part in parkrun regularly (I’m a proud owner of a red 50 shirt) as it is an important part of my training, but mostly because I enjoy the camaraderie and the social aspect. You just never know who you are going to meet at 9am on a Saturday morning in your local park.

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I don’t worry about my transplant, I just go out there and run, lift weights and do yoga classes. Life is all about making sensible decisions, just like it was when I got the exercise bike in my ward all those years ago. Decisions such as always using the upstairs toilet because you get more exercise, being sensible with alcohol, and resisting the temptation to sign up to the London Marathon!

Tony Scott
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Photo courtesy of Mike Lepps