" I have always tried to keep active and I enjoyed running in my younger years, but I never believed I'd be able run again...not as I was now over 40. Modern day life is hectic! Holding down a full time job, running a family home – where would I find time to run?
I bit the bullet and got involved in my local Parkrun. To this very day I remember my first run, as I took a fall! But it wasn't the embarrassment of the fall I remember, it was the support and encouragement I received. This is what sticks with me and gave me the determination to carry on. It is this support, encouragement and sense of community that has made Parkrun such an important part of my life. A place to make new friends and challenge myself on a weekly basis without any pressure. I now regularly beat my PB and I'm in training for a half marathon, something which would never have happened without joining my local Parkrun.
Parkrun can give you a sense of belonging, with a friendly family atmosphere it helps give you a sense of belief and increases your confidence and mental wellbeing.
I have firsthand experience of how Parkrun has a positive impact on mental health as my eldest son has ADHD and struggles in social situations. You don't have to run or walk to get involved; you can volunteer to help to make the events possible. My son started volunteering which has helped with his social interaction and he has now started to run which is a great release for him. One of my key messages is that you do not have to be active to get participate; there are many other ways to get involved."