To celebrate International Women's Day, Active Partnerships were delighted to support the collaboration between Parkrun and This Girl Can at the weekend encouraging women to come and have a go at the free weekly 5k.
More than 1,300 women and girls took part in their first ever parkrun during this special event to mark International Women’s Day. The day also saw the highest number of female volunteers ever recorded at parkrun.
In total, 7,902 women and girls across England volunteered on the day – 1,500 more than a typical Saturday – with 300 women and girls volunteering for the very first time.
And 70% of run directors on the day were female, much higher than the current England average of 43%.
Frances Drury, Sport Englands senior activation manager, said she was delighted the partnership with parkrun had encouraged so many women to take part.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to parkrun, to all the women that ran, jogged, walked and volunteered and to the many organisations such as Active Partnerships who worked with their local parkruns to make the day such a success,” she added.
This Girl Can worked closely with parkrun to promote the event, sharing heartwarming stories of inspirational women supporting each other to help women overcome perceived barriers, such as not being fit enough or being “too slow”.
Nicki Couzens from the Active Partnerships national team said:
“it was brilliant to see so many first timers take part in parkrun across the country this weekend as well as numerous female take overs of the volunteer teams. Parkrun is such an fun, inclusive activity that is open to people of all abilities whether they run, walk, jog or a combination of all three! The non judgemental atmosphere created by the volunteer teams means we hope many women will now come back again as statistics show that although females make 54% of registrations, they are less likely than men to take part in parkrun and to continue participating so we want to change that ”
“This Girl Can is all about breaking down barriers and helping women feel like they can be active, no matter their ability, size or lifestyle,” said Kate Dale, the This Girl Can campaign lead.
“The aim of our partnership with parkrun is to celebrate women in all their imperfect glory"
Chrissie Wellington, legendary triathlete and parkrun global head of health and wellbeing, said:
'Parkrun is a world where female participation is joyfully celebrated – young and old, friends and families, walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers, and those that come along to watch and support’