This week there was the great news that Sewerby parkrun had won the Free Press Sport award for making a difference locally. We were nominated by Cathy Wood and David Field who regularly run at the Sewerby event. The trophy was on show last Saturday and hopefully it can be displayed in the cafe area at Sewerby Hall and raise awareness of parkrun in general and our event in particular. The citation that the nominators wrote summed up what parkrun is all about and what it has done for the local community in terms of participation at all levels for all. The citation went as follows:-
I would like to nominate the Sewerby Parkrun team of volunteers for the Bridlington Free Press Sports Awards “Community Award.”
The Parkrun has been running for just over three years now and had its 100th run in 2013, which was supported by 188 runners from the region. The Parkrun is organised solely by volunteers who willingly give up their Saturday mornings every week. They take responsibility for the safety of all the participants, supporters and general public by checking and clearing the course before the run starts and clearing away afterwards to ensure that the park is clear for all subsequent visitors.
Sewerby Parkrun is a free weekly event which is available to everyone, regardless of age or ability. Runners, joggers, children, veterans and dogs - all are welcomed and cheered on by the volunteers, creating an inclusive, friendly, family atmosphere.
Although it is a timed event, this is a run rather than a race. Everyone supports and encourages each other. Runners are equally pleased when their friends get a “personal best” as they are with their own, and will do anything to help or coach them. Runners also volunteer to marshal the event on some weeks.
The number of weekly participants has almost doubled in the past year, with other local sports clubs and running clubs also reporting an increase in membership. This can be partly attributed to the friendly, family atmosphere created at the Parkrun; the encouragement in peoples abilities and awareness of other opportunities for sports and recreation.
This also helps the wider community by promoting a healthy lifestyle; as people become more interested in sports they also take an interest in healthy eating and buying fresh, local produce. This is especially good for the younger participants as it helps to build life skills and good habits which they will keep for life. This also has physiological benefits, as it teaches youngsters the benefits of setting and achieving targets, working together, building communication skills, competition (winning and losing), pushing themselves past the limits they thought they had, building confidence in all aspects of life.
The friendly atmosphere starts before the run and continues on post run, with people meeting to hand down top tips, advice, swap stories and information on other runs, training, ideas and races. It is also one of the most spectacular Parkruns in the country, with it’s mix of cliff-top and woodland!
There is a fantastic level of respect and admiration for all those taking part in the run, which starts with the runners & marshals and also includes the general public who support and encourage the runners each week.
The parkrun is fantastically well organised, with the times and positions being posted to the website and emailed faster than most “professionally” organised races, which is a credit to the volunteers, marshals and timekeepers needed each week. The friendly, all inclusive atmosphere is a credit to all involved and long may this continue and I think that this hard work and dedication should be formally recognised within the community/area.
Due to the success of the weekly Parkrun, other runs have also been put on during 2014, with runs on New Years Day and the Kilham Time Trial.
Parkrun belongs to everybody who takes part whether as a runner or volunteer so this award belongs to all. We did in fact this week top 2000 different runners at Sewerby since the start in 2011. It now stands at 2011 runners weirdly!!
Well done one and all.