PARKRUNS all over the world are joining a celebration of female participation by hosting a special event on Saturday, March 7 ahead of International Women’s Day the following day.
In recognition of International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8, parkrun has teamed up with Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign to celebrate active women and girls across the country.
According to Sport England, 39 per cent of women are not active compared with 35 per cent of men. Nationally, 13 million women and girls said they wanted to play more sport and almost half of those women are currently inactive. Parkrun’s records show that, of the 1.8 million women registered, 650,000 are yet to participate.
This International Women’s Day, Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire, parkrun and This Girl Can are encouraging women and girls across the two counties to celebrate active women everywhere, by joining their local parkrun.
Females are encouraged to bring along a friend, colleague or family member to walk, jog or volunteer at their local event and a purple dress code is suggested.
parkruns are free, fun, sociable 5k community events taking place every weekend in public parks and open spaces across the globe. They are accessible to all, regardless of age, ability or background.Over 700 parkrun events take place across the UK every Saturday, with 10 in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Many events even allow buggies and dogs, making it a true family event.
As part of the localised This Girl Can campaign, 13 secondary and high schools across the two counties recently received funding from Sports Partnership Herefordshire and Worcestershire to support local activation initiatives.
This Girl Can student champions from a number of these schools will be attending their local events to help support this female movement and celebrate women getting active regardless of their shape, size, age or ability.
Kate Dale, This Girl Can campaign lead, said: “This Girl Can is all about breaking down barriers and helping women feel like they can be active, no matter their ability size or lifestyle.
“The aim of our partnership with parkrun is to celebrate women in all their imperfect glory. This International Women’s Day, we’re calling on the women who haven’t quite made it out there yet to join this huge female movement and take part in their local parkrun – whether they walk, run, skip or just do half of it.”
For anyone coming along for the first time, or those who might need a bit of reassurance, a friendly volunteer will be on hand to welcome newcomers, provide information about the event and answer any questions.
Although International Women’s Day parkrun is being held on one day, it is hoped the impact will be far more long-lasting as people continue to reap the rewards of being active in a nurturing, welcoming, outdoor environment.
Parkrun events take place at 9am every Saturday morning and are free to participate in. Find your local parkrun event at parkrun.org.uk.