Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Hang your head in shame

It may be that I am just extra grumpy because I'm injured yet again but the news that Stoke Gifford Parish Council, near Bristol, have voted to charge people who do the weekly park run there, I find particularly annoying.

There have been various debates such as, whether Parkruns are or are not a race;  debate as to whether Parkruns take away prospective members of athletics/running clubs or whether they have helped attract new members.  What does not seem in doubt is that most people are open to and welcome Parkrun.

The decision by Stoke Gifford Parish is for me a backward and short sighted step.  Their reasoning for the charge being to help upkeep of the paths due to there extra usage.

What we should be asking ourselves though is. Do we want a healthier population or not?  The costs to all of us of inactivity and poor health are immense.  Parkrun with the aim of breaking down barriers to participation in and delivery of physical activity should be congratulated and supported.

I have noticed that Twitter has been abuzz about this with Chrissie Wellington tweeting that 'in 2015 over 2000 hours of volunteer time helped to deliver the 5k and 2k junior events at Little Stoke Park which is valued at almost £28k'.

Not only that but Parkrun also helps to develop the sense of Community.

So shame on you Stoke Gifford Parish Council.

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