Carmarthenshire is set to host its second junior parkrun in Llanelli this weekend. It will be the 11th junior parkrun in Wales and has been made possible through a partnership between parkrun Wales and Welsh Athletics’ new social running programme Run Wales.
As a social activity, running is going through an unprecedented growth period across Wales. James Williams, Head of Operations for Welsh Athletics said, “as the governing body for all forms of athletics and running in Wales, we have a strategic aim of increasing the number of social runners in Wales. With a dedicated social running programme we are actively working towards that aim.”
In 2014 the Sport Wales’ School Sport Survey highlighted that running/jogging was listed as the number one activity outside of school for children and young people, with an average of 54.86% participating. However, reports published by Public Health Wales in 2014 showed that over a quarter of five year olds in Wales have an unhealthy body mass index compared to just over a fifth of five year olds in England, with the trend continuing into 2017.
Providing opportunities for individuals of all ages to become physically active and reach their own personal goal is central to the programmes aim, and working in conjunction with partners like parkrun is key to achieving this and getting Wales Moving.
Sioned Jones, Run Wales National Programme Manager said, “we are delighted to announce that Run Wales funded Llanelli Jr parkrun. parkrun and it’s Jr provision is fundamental in providing the opportunity for everyone in Wales to run and to run more often. Run Wales recognises the importance of parkrun in local communities and by funding more parkrun events at both levels in Wales, we are working towards our goal of creating an active and inclusive Wales for runners of all ages.”
This is Wales’ 11th junior parkrun and it takes place in a county that has produced so many talented junior athletes over the years. Just a few months ago Dewi Griffiths competed for Great Britain in the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, and Josh Griffiths was the first British Athlete over the finishing line at 2017 Virgin London Marathon. Hopefully new opportunities such as junior parkruns will help create future running champions in Wales.
The Llanelli junior 2k parkrun for 4-14 year olds will be held every Sunday from 9am, starting on 30 July. http://www.parkrun.org.uk/llanellicoast-juniors/
To take part children need to register on the parkrun website where they will be issued with a bar code to scan at the start and end of each event. They’ll also be able to check their progress and timings on the website’s results page.
Want to set up a parkrun in your area? Run Wales can help- get in touch with us!