Parkrun founder set to attend Hatfield event

PUBLISHED: 17:40 12 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:41 12 January 2017

Hatfield parkrun volunteers

Hatfield parkrun volunteers

Archant

The founder of the world famous parkrun, which has three million runners registered across the globe, is coming to Hatfield.

Parkrun founder Paul Sinton Hewitt CBEParkrun founder Paul Sinton Hewitt CBE

Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE began the parkrun movement as the Bushy Park (Teddington) Time Trial in October 2004.

Just over 12 years later it has become a worldwide phenomenon with over three million people registered who take part in over 1,000 weekly events in 14 countries, supported by nearly a quarter of a million volunteers.

Hertfordshire has its own parkruns with Hatfield, Panshanger, St Albans and Stevenage among them.

Sinton-Hewitt will be in town on Tuesday, January 17 at the University of Hertfordshire’s Weston Auditorium to attend the Hertfordshire parkrun celebration event to recognise the efforts of the army of volunteers who make it all possible.

John O’Callaghan, director of the Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership who are jointly organising the evening with parkrun UK, said: “Parkrun is such a fantastic concept in so many ways.

“It is populated by friendly, welcoming people and its backbone are the volunteers that make it possible each and every weekend.

“We are delighted to be involved in this celebration of the programme’s success in Hertfordshire and look forward to its continued expansion during 2017.

“We are indebted to Hertfordshire County Council for their initial funding which has supported the growth of parkrun in the county, and feel honoured that Paul Sinton-Hewitt has agreed to join us and deliver the keynote address for this special occasion.”

Over the past three years, the success of the parkrun movement in Herts, has been a microcosm of what has happened on the world stage.

There are now 10 parkruns and a junior parkrun in the county, which attract upwards of 2,000 runners and up to 200 volunteers each weekend.

There are plans for a further five parkruns in the pipeline and the success of the programme, in bringing together communities, and helping to address health inequalities has been impressive.

The parkrun Volunteer Celebration Event is open to anyone who has volunteered at a parkrun in Hertfordshire over the past two years and to any prospective volunteers interested in gaining a better understanding what the parkrun movement is all about.

To register for the free event go to www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/united-kingdom--hatfield/events/


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