Saturday 24th August 2019 marked the first anniversary of Goalball UK’s ‘parkrun to the Paralympics’ campaign. Here is a reminder about what parkrun is and how to get involved with the challenge –

So far we have collectively covered 3370km so are well over a third of the way there. This is fantastic considering that Saturday mornings often clash with club training sessions, tournaments and taster events, never mind non-goalballing commitments, so some strategic planning and early morning alarm calls have often been required!

Gemma Bell (from West Yorkshire Goalball Club) being guided by Jenna Couch at Walsall parkrun

A number of Goalball UK members who were new to parkrun have quickly ‘caught the bug’ and are now parkrunning whenever and wherever they can. Chris Payne from Derbyshire Ducks Goalball Club, however, is currently the main contributor having completed a parkrun on every possible occasion since Saturday 25th August 2018 (including Christmas Day and 2 on New Year’s Day) which equates to 280km!

Some members always go to the same parkrun whereas others have visited lots of different parkruns. In total, 5k’s (and 2k’s from Junior parkruns) have been ‘banked’ from 90 different locations around England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales plus France and the USA. As parkrun has recently launched in Japan as well there could be a perfect end to the challenge come Saturday 22nd August 2020!

Kimberley and Bobby-Jack Spencer-Sallis modelling their 'parkrun to the Paralympics' t-shirts at Winchester parkrun

Some members have also volunteered, fulfilling a number of different roles (e.g. barcode scanning, finish tokens, funnel manager, marshall, pacer, tail walker, timekeeper, VI guide, etc.) before, during or after a parkrun because, as with goalball, parkrun wouldn’t happen without the help of volunteers.

Getting out of bed on a Saturday morning, after a long week at school/college/university or work, can be a challenge, and especially when it is cold and wet, but parkrun is a great way to start a weekend. So, if you haven’t already, please #GetInvolved.