JUNIOR runners ensured the launch of their own event in Bognor Regis was a success.
The town’s popular parkrun for adults has been extended to those aged 4-14 and the popularity of Sunday’s inaugural event delighted organisers.
A total of 113 children tackled the 2km course at the Arena Sports Centre in Westloats Lane in spite of the just above freezing temperature.
Karen Vilday, the event director, said: “With such a parkrun community already established at the 5km Saturday parkrun in Hotham Park each week, the new junior parkrun has already generated great interest and support.
“The children will now have their own parkrun where they can run with or without their parents, but – more importantly – build their own parkrun community with friends and siblings while keeping active and having fun.”
Karen heads a core group of trained volunteers who will stage the run at 9am each Sunday.
Their aim is to get more young children taking part in regular sport and physical activity. The aim is to have fun, regardless of an individual’s pace.
The success of the first run can be seen by the fact more than 250 people were present taking part or supporting.
Bognor Regis parkrun event director Ben Bowers said: “The fact children as young as four have the opportunity to take part in their own junior version of the phenomenal parkrun experience is fantastic. A big thank-you must go to the funders, volunteers and parkrun UK who have all put in the hard work to enable this event to come to Bognor Regis each week.
“I hope that the event encourages even more children to take part in running and enjoy the experience.”
parkrun ambassador Mike Houston has helped with the launch and the training of volunteers.
He said: “I’m confident that the event will grow from strength to strength in the coming weeks and months and help encourage children in the area to get active on a regular basis at a great free and fun event.”
Taking part in the junior parkrun is free but runners should get their barcode to enable their participation to be recorded from http://www.parkrun.org.uk/bognorregis-juniors
The junior events are part-funded by Bognor Regis Rotary Club, Bridle Opticians, Cathedral Wealth Management, Bognor Regis Lions, South Coast Sports, Boulevard Beauty and the West Sussex County Council community initiative fund.