Juniors take on volunteer roles to mark parkrun birthday event

Eastney junior parkrun celebrated with a volunteer takeover. Picture: Neil Marshall (170097-22)
Eastney junior parkrun celebrated with a volunteer takeover. Picture: Neil Marshall (170097-22)
Pearson Atkinson and Tanisha Gray. Stokes Bay junior parkrun takes place on Sundays. Picture: Neil Marshall (171348-30)

Great fun at Stokes Bay junior parkrun

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Eastney junior parkrun celebrated their second birthday in style on Sunday.

They held a takeover day where the children took on the volunteer roles for the event.

Eastney junior parkrun birthday celebrations. Picture: Neil Marshall

Eastney junior parkrun birthday celebrations. Picture: Neil Marshall

It was a fantastic occasion for everyone as they supported and encouraged each other.

The event has been running for two years.

Organiser Denyse King is delighted with the progress it has made since it was set up, with lots of families getting involved and being encouraged to be active in Portsmouth.

She said: ‘I wanted there to be an event in the city which was suitable for younger runners who weren’t ready for the 5k yet.

‘The hard work with the council and getting the event core volunteer team together paid off as Eastney juniors has gone from strength to strength with juniors from all walks of life and abilities now coming along to enjoy being active.

‘We no longer just get the children whose parents are runners themselves, but also children from families who would never before have considered running.

‘While their children walk, run, skip, or carry their favourite toy around the course, the parents cheer them on from the sidelines, walk with them or socialise with other parents.

‘I have also noticed some parents who didn’t run before are now turning up to take part in Southsea parkrun which is amazing.’

The volunteers are the heroes for parkrun events.

The run would not be able to take place without people giving up their time to fulfil a number of roles.

King linked up with Daniel Del Piccolo last year and they have formed a good partnership at Eastney junior parkrun.

She added: ‘The event director role eventually became too much for me to do on my own as it has times when it can be very demanding.

‘So I asked Dan if he would become my co-event director last year.

‘Since then we’ve found a nice balance which suits us both in terms of workload share, and volunteering my time is an absolute pleasure.’

Eastney junior parkrun has welcomed 840 different runners since it started, with a total distance covered of 12,548k.

On Sunday Cameron Walker-Powell finished first with a time of 7min 26sec for the 2k run.

It was his 23rd appearance at the event and his best time is the course record so far of 7.21.

Dulcie Davies, in the junior age 10 category, finished first female on Sunday in 10.31 and was 14th overall out of 64 youngsters.

The record attendance is 124 and the runners have set 1,323 new personal bests between them.

Eastney junior parkrun is a 2k run for juniors only (four to 14 year olds).

It is held every Sunday at 10am in Bransbury Park, PO4 9SU.

For more information about the event see the website parkrun.org.uk/eastney-juniors/