parkrun, which celebrates its 11th anniversary this weekend, has become a global phenomenon with over 110,000 runners taking part in more than 700 events each week.
But none of this would be possible without the volunteers who give up their time to help manage the events – whether it’s cheering on the runners, marshalling or even baking post-run cakes. That’s why parkrun have partnered with Join In to support the Big Help Out, a nationwide campaign to inspire 10,000 new volunteers into community sport.
“Thanks to the contribution of thousands of volunteers, around 70,000 people take part in parkruns across the UK each week. As well as playing an active role in your community, volunteering at parkrun provides a wonderful opportunity to boost confidence and pick up new skills, from event management to public speaking to writing reports for a local newspaper. Everybody can be involved and no experience is necessary – just come along with some enthusiasm and a smile.” said parkrun UK Managing Director, Tom Williams.
Former 5,000m world record holder and Director of Sport at Join In, Dave Moorcroft, adds, “parkrun is a great example of how a whole community can pull together through sport. People of all ages, abilities and backgrounds come together every Saturday morning to build a sporting community and the volunteers are very much at the centre of that community, bringing everyone together.”
Join In’s research shows that people who volunteer with their local sports group are happier and healthier. More than 6,000 people volunteer at parkrun events across the UK every weekend, but despite this huge effort, 55% of the population still don’t know that sports clubs are run by volunteers and seven out of 10 sports clubs still need more help.
Celebrity runner and Join In patron, Eddie Izzard, explains why he’s involved and why he wants you to get involved too…