As part of this year’s International Women’s Day celebrations, This Girl Can has partnered with parkrun to celebration female participation. parkrun events encouraged as many women and girls as possible to participate as walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers with a suggested purple dress code for the day.
Burnage parkrun was one of 18 across Greater Manchester that took part in the International Women’s Day parkrun initiative. Burnage saw two established organisations come together to help enable more women and girls to move more; parkrun and the Women’s Institute (WI).
WI Heaton Mess’ running sub-group were looking to give something back to their community, and with many of the members benefitting from their local parkruns, they decided to volunteer at one, to give back to something that has given so much to them. Yvonne Norris who’s coordinating the group’s volunteering efforts said;
“At the heart of the WI group are outstanding, inspirational women who are willing to support, get involved and lift each other up, pretty similar to those amazing volunteers that stand in the rain each week at parkrun, allowing us to run.”
Yvonne also wanted to use this opportunity to show the WI members who aren’t “runners”, that they don’t need to be Olympic athletes to join a parkrun, hopefully inspiring them to take part too. They also wanted to subtly challenge the misconceptions or stereotypes people may have about WIs and the people who attend them.
Not long after deciding to do this, the announcement was made about the International Women’s Day parkrun, which gave them the perfect opportunity to get involved. Already, it was having the affect that Yvonne wanted with three members who wanted to complete their first parkrun signing up to be Tail Walkers!
This Saturday, over 30 people volunteered at Burnage parkrun from WI Heaton Mess; from Mums bringing their babies to their first ever parkrun to daughters supporting with timekeeping.
“I can’t imagine a more positive way to celebrate International Women's Day, than taking part in something to help with your health and wellbeing, surrounded by people who just want to get involved and help out in the community.”
parkruns are becoming central features in communities across the country, to get involved in your local parkrun either as a walker, runner or volunteer head to the parkrun website here.
A real life example of how Tameside Council, applied the GM Moving Local Pilot Enabler of Change 'effective work across and between sectors' in their work