Volunteers needed to keep pace with demand

Volunteers are needed
Volunteers are needed
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A GROUP which organises a weekly run has called for more volunteers to get involved.

Southsea Parkrun needs volunteers to be run directors, timekeepers and race marshals for its weekly five-kilometre run along the seafront.

Event organiser Peter Hooley said there was a great sense of community spirit among the people who volunteered at the run.

He said: ‘They all go to the café on the seafront afterwards for a cup of tea and a little chat.

‘I think the community feel of it really appeals to people.

‘And the volunteering aspect is very important to us, it stops what we do being considered elite.’

The University of Portsmouth gave money to set up the weekly run, which started last October.

Mr Hooley said the event had gone from strength-to-strength since then.

He said: ‘At the moment we get between 180 and 220 people a week and that very much depends on whether it’s sunny or not.

‘We had a four-week break during the storms, and now we’ve just completed our 25th park run.’

Parkrun is a national organisation which hosts hundreds of fun runs across the country every week.

Mr Hooley said it had become so successful because anybody could take part.

He said: ‘It gives people who don’t run or maybe who haven’t run in a long time a chance to access the sport in a very unassuming way.

‘Anyone who turns up will be able to find lots of people at their level, from those who walk the entire course, to people who are very fast and set some really good times.

‘A lot of people try to find someone who’s just a bit faster so that they can catch up and improve their time.’

The run takes place on Saturdays at 9am from the Speakers’ Corner by Rocksby’s Café and heads east along the seafront before turning back just past the Royal Marines Museum.

Anyone who wants to volunteer can e-mail southseahelpers@parkrun.com or look up Southsea Parkrun on Facebook.