Runners will soon be descending on Salford’s Peel Park for the international phenomenon that is Parkrun.
Every week scores or runners across the world descend on their local parks for the free, 5k timed running event, which is organised entirely by volunteers.
Now a group of ardent volunteers want to bring Parkrun to Peel Park in central Salford, and have been given a financial boost from housing association Salix Homes.
Alia Pike, who is involved with organising the new Parkrun course, said: “Despite the huge amount of housing around Peel Park – including private, social and student homes – so many residents don’t make the most of it.
“The hope is that Parkrun will change that, helping to instil in residents a sense of ownership over this beautiful area. The initiative also provides great opportunities for people to feel proud of themselves and their achievements, and hopefully participants will carry that into other areas of their lives.”
Salix Homes has awarded the initiative £500 towards set-up and administration costs through its community grant programme Springboard, which provides funding for local groups and projects which boost community spirit, improve the environment, reduce isolation and promote health and wellbeing.
Ben Cruickshanks, neighbourhood manager for Salix Homes, said: “As an organisation we’re passionate about supporting initiatives that help promote health and wellbeing in our communities, and Parkrun is a great way to support these aims. We hope the public really get behind the project and we’re excited to see this international running phenomenon come to the wonderful Peel Park.”
The group is now on the lookout for more volunteers in order to get the event up and running in the near future.
Alia added: “Most Parkrun participants are local residents, so it’s really important to us to have Salix Homes on board. At the moment, we’re in the process of recruiting more volunteers to join our core team. This involves duties such as marshalling, time keeping and race directing. You don’t need to be a runner – you just need to want to see people enjoy the park.”
Anyone interested in volunteering needs to be registered with Parkrun and obtain a personalised barcode, which is free to do, and then email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers need to be able to commit to volunteering on a Saturday morning from 8am until about 11am. No experience is needed, and you don’t need to be a runner to join the core team.