We’re constantly searching for proactive methods to help boost well-being and happiness within community sports. Parkrun has partnered with Join In to inspire 10,000 new volunteers into community sport as part of the #BigHelpOut campaign.
Research conducted by Join In shows that those who volunteer have 10% higher self-esteem, emotional well-being and resilience compared to those who have never volunteered at all, and 15% of those asked were said not to worry about day-to-day problems if they partook in volunteering. A large percentage of people (87%) commented that their life now had meaning and 88% agreed they had a lot to be proud of.
Parkrun is known for delivering weekly 5km timed runs (2km for juniors) which are said to be at the heart of local communities. Currently, 6,000 weekly helpers bring the community together with roles for everyone, from setting up the course, to organising the run, to marshalling on the route, to baking post-run cakes. Individuals will be encouraged to volunteer at their local sports clubs, resulting in a satisfying sense of importance and increasing the trust experienced within the community.
Tom Williams, managing director of parkrun UK, said, “Thanks to the contribution of thousands of volunteers, around 70,000 people take part in parkruns up and down the country 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.”
Former 5,000m world record holder and director of sport at Join In, Dave Moorcroft, commented, “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.”
More than 6,000 people volunteer at parkrun events across the UK every weekend but, despite this huge effort, 55% of the population still doesn’t know that sports clubs are run by volunteers and seven out of 10 sports clubs still need more help.
To be a part of the #BigHelpOut and to find volunteering opportunities at your local parkrun, visit parkrun.org.uk