Athletic attraction of junior parkruns coming to Eyemouth

Eyemouth is to join the list of Scottish venues staging regular junior parkruns.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 12th May 2022, 2:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2022, 2:32 pm
David Stewart from Kelso competing in the Wallaceneuk park run. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
David Stewart from Kelso competing in the Wallaceneuk park run. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

The informal runs have become hugely popular in recent years with walkers and joggers around the world, and the Berwickshire town is now set to get the community involved and promote their distinctive style of health and wellbeing.

Andrew Aird, Parkrun UK’s ambassador for the Borders, said plans are well advanced and it is hoped to stage an initial event this summer, although a date has yet to be finalised.

“It’s really exciting that we are bringing this worldwide event to the local community for the benefit of all,” he said.

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Junior parkruns for children aged four to 14 are set to take place on Sundays at 9.30am. They’ll take the familiar shape of a 2k free, timed run, walk or jog, operated by volunteers every week. Adults can also take part with their children.

The activity will be held at playing fields beside Eyemouth Primary School, in agreement with Scottish Borders Council and Berwickshire Housing Association.

The venture arose from a project known as Gateway to Good Health, run jointly in Eyemouth with NHS Borders as part of a general programme to improve townsfolk’s health.

“One thing identified was a possible junior parkrun, which got funding through the Scottish Government,” said Aird. “It’s aimed at tackling adults with diabetes, but the way they approach it, which I think is quite novel, is to get kids involved in the activity with mums and dads. Aunts and uncles can come along and get involved as well at that early stage.”

A 5k run on Saturdays, with children under 11 having to run with an adult, could also be on the way.

Junior parkruns involve registration online and runners being issued with their own identification and a barcode, meaning they can take part at any venue in the world and have their time recorded.

Younger children are generally accompanied but some older ones run on their own, said Aird, adding: “The way we set it up is to have a number of marshals around the course, so that at no point is a child out of the eyesight of a marshal.

“From a safeguarding point of view, we need a few extra volunteers for that reason, and the events are also on quite an open route.”