This last week has seen the 40th anniversary of Nottingham Forest winning the European Cup for the second time (imagine how hard it is for me, as a Leicester supporter, to write those words) and, in line with many media outlets that don't have any actual sport to report on I heard that yesterday afternoon Radio Nottingham were re-running the full match commentary from that night in Madrid when John Roberson scored the winning goal against Hamburg.
Which seems a perfect opportunity for Rushcliffe parkrun to look back at some of our most memorable events, and it is so fitting that we start by going back to June 9th, 2018, when we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the NHS.
What will it be like next time we get together to celebrate the NHS?
Amazing how things turn out sometimes. It would have been good anyway, but in the end it was fantastic. All it takes is the ideas, time, determination and commitment from one person to change the Saturday morning for 512 parkrunners.
We were contacted a couple of months ago, by parkrun UK, about their national initiative to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS and Rushcliffe were invited to join in at a local level. ‘What a good idea’ we thought and, in our own, usually understated way, we planned to share the national messages via facebook and twitter, say a few words in the pre run brief and continue the theme into the run report.
Well, that was until the first element of that plan was actioned. On Wednesday May 30th we shared, on facebook, the details of the national launch event featuring Dame Kelly Holmes. Within minutes we had received a message from Nat Scroggie (pictured above) asking about our plans and suggesting various initiatives, that she was happy to organize, to put fun, excitement and meaning into our support of the National initiative.
And so it was, with Nat’s ideas, time, determination and commitment that this week’s event came to you with fancy dress, a dedicated walking group and pacers between 28 and 40 minutes – and delivered a fabulous atmosphere, fun and laughter, delighted parkrunners with new PB’s and ensured we celebrated the NHS in style. She didn’t organize the weather – that was a bonus!
In the 10 days between the 30th May and 9th June Nat used her contacts to get support from within the medical profession, arranged fancy dress including the magnificent double buggy ‘ambulance’ with flashing blue light , spoke to members of the press – we were even featured in West Bridgford Wire! – cajoled her friends into being pacers and generally made sure everything was in place for a superb celebration of the magnificent organization that is the NHS.
As was said in the pre-run brief yesterday
'We’ve all used the NHS at some points in our lives and had experience of this fantastic organisation. parkrun is joining in the celebrations of the NHS’s 70th birthday with some special activities today primarily centred on encouraging us all to be more active and having fun, both of which have been proven to show that they lead to better mental and physical health - and keeping healthy is the best way that we can support the NHS.’
To the end of keeping healthy, we were very keen to get the message communicated that parkrun is for everyone and we hope that by having a walking group and pacers with 28 to 40 minutes target times we will encourage more people to come and join in the fun. Nobody need ever worry about being last – we have tail walkers whose job is to be the final finishers and we will always provide a supportive atmosphere that will encourage participation by everyone, no matter your age or ability.
Please spread the message amongst your friends, relatives and work colleagues. parkrun is for everyone - we know from stories that have already been told, including a few over the years in the run reports, that parkrun can change lives for the better.
Clearly organising a brilliant event for 512 parkrunners was a breeze for Nat, because immediately afterwards she blogged about her experience, and why the NHS means so much to her, and we can all see it on her ‘This Vet Runs’ blog, via this link. She also arranged for a photo album of yesterday to be posted on facebook for us all to enjoy. You can see that via this link.
Thank you to the National Health Service for what you have done for us all over the last 70 years – and what you will continue to do in the future.
Thank you to the volunteer team that timed, scanned, marshalled, funnel managed and this week’s event.
And thank you to Nat for making it a memorable Saturday morning in the park.