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Opportunities with parkrun

Opportunities with parkrun

The Physical Activity & Health strand of the BUCS strategy aims to develop and broaden the range of opportunities that exist for staff and students within the HE sector to become more physically active, boosting their health and wellbeing. 

parkrun events are a great example of how universities can encourage their HE community to get active on a weekly basis, whether individuals chose to walk, jog or run around a course. parkrun UK, a non-profit organisation supports over 700 communities across the country to coordinate free volunteer-led 5k and 2k events for walkers and runners.

parkrun would be delighted to work with universities to set up and manage parkrun events on university campuses or surrounding areas. All that you need to start this journey is some determination and drive, parkrun will help you with the rest of the process offering a step by step guide, assistance and support.

Key Benefits of parkrun to HEIs

- It's free, easily accessible, regular opportunity to be active outside
- Improve health and wellbeing (physical and mental) of students and staff
- Develop skills and promote employability through volunteering
- Forge strong relationships with the wider community
- Revenue gains from use of campus based cafes, shops etc

What can you do?

- Connect with your local parkrun event team
- Participate: run, jog, walk, volunteer!
- Offer opportunities for parkrun to publicise their local event
- Signpost students and staff to events in your area
- Relevant university departments could integrate parkrun into their subject syllabus
- Consider setting up your own event  
- parkrun student take over - You may not be in a position to create your own parkrun event, but may have a number of volunteers that would be interested in taking over a local parkrun. Find out more about volunteering here, there are a number of different volunteer roles available.

Key Resources 

Below are a number of key resources that may be of use if you are considering getting more involved with parkrun at your university.

parkrun 2016 factsparkrun UK 2016 Run Report - in 2016 parkrun took a closer look at how they can change the lives of specific groups within society — particularly those for whom access to, and participation in, physical activity and volunteering is not the norm. Going forward their focus will be on continuing to remove barriers to engagement and promoting participation by all. Some of the key headline findings are displayed on the left of this page. 

University parkrun summary document - there are a number of parkrun events already taking place at universities. We asked some of the event directors how they are linked to universities in terms of facility access, support and challenges faced. 

parkrun UK health and wellbeing flyer - this flyer can be used to promote existing parkrun events to your students and staff. This has useful information on that outlines the key benefits individuals can gain by taking part in parkrun, whether as a volunteer or participant. 

Initial steps to consider when starting a parkrun event at your university - there are some initial steps to take into account if you are considering starting up a parkrun event. Further information on this can also be found here


Complete the BUCS Running Survey

 A sub group of the BUCS Physical Activity & Health Board have created a BUCS Running survey following feedback from members that attended the Physical Activity, Health & Social Sport Development event earlier this year. BUCS members expressed an interest to explore the opportunity of creating a national running campaign for the higher education sector. Find out more and complete the survey here. The survey will remain open until Thursday 31 May 2018. THIS SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED. 

If you have any questions on any of the information provided above please contact Amy Seaman, BUCS Development Manager. 

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