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Diabetes champion sought for parkrun

By Editor
5th December 2016
Latest news

An organisation which stages hundreds of 5k runs across the UK every weekend is recruiting a diabetes champion.

The voluntary role would help parkrun UK work on plans to increase awareness of the Saturday and Sunday morning runs for people living with diabetes.

We are continually striving to bring the benefits of parkrun to more and more people with impairments or long-term conditions

The group organises free weekly, 5k timed runs which open to everyone.

One million runners

The movement started in 2004 with 13 runners and a handful of volunteers and is now the UK’s largest provider of free physical activity, with the one millionth park runner completing one of the 491 UK events in May.

The move to recruit a voluntary diabetes ambassador, who must be a parkrunner, comes following the organisation being awarded government funding to embark on a three-year project to improve the health and wellbeing of disabled and excluded groups by increasing physical activity and social engagement.

The project is through the Department of Health’s Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development (IESD) Fund. It will initially focus on people from one or two impairment groups, then expanded to cover all regions and a wide range of disabilities.

A blog entry on the parkrun UK website stated: “We are continually striving to bring the benefits of parkrun to more and more people with impairments or long-term conditions. Currently we are reaching out to the parkrun community to talk with particular groups, along with their friends, family and any parkrunners who might be able to contribute knowledge and experience from their professional lives. The aim is to understand from them what we can do to make parkrun more welcoming and accommodating of their particular needs.

“We are now turning our attention to parkrunners living with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We want to recruit one or more parkrunners into a volunteer role of ‘parkrun’s national lead(s) for diabetes’ to help us work on plans to increase awareness of parkrun for those living with diabetes.”

Project manager Frank Jones said: “Professional knowledge is fine. When people click the link to the survey where they can apply for the roles(s) they’ll get a link that takes them through to the role description which makes it clear that people with diabetes, or friends/family, professionals are all fine. We are, however, looking for people who are currently parkrunners so always worth making that clear. Also be worth stressing it is a volunteer role.”

People interested in the role can view a role description by taking part in a survey. The organisation is also looking to hear about the experiences of runners living with diabetes.

Chief medical officer for England Dame Sally Davies recently completed a parkrun, read her blog article.

Photo credit: Lynn Brown

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