A new initiative to help motivate, get and keep young people fit has been unveiled today.
A free Ipswich junior parkrun will take place in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park every Sunday from 14th September.
The junior run follows the phenomenal success of the Saturday 5k Ipswich parkrun. Looking at national trends and a handful of new junior parkruns around the country, Ipswich parkrun Event Director Rory Marriott is keen to ensure that younger members of the community could enjoy the benefits of a weekly run with friends and family in an Ipswich park.
While there is no cost to attend and it is organised by volunteers, the event’s start-up costs have been met jointly by Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council.
Councillor Bryony Rudkin, Ipswich Borough Council’s Culture & Leisure portfolio-holder, said: “We are pleased to support this initiative. Providing fantastic community activities that offer value for money and embracing our fantastic natural resources of local volunteers, residents and local parks is something the Council is very keen on. The new run will firmly place Ipswich at the heart of Suffolk as a county leader.”
Rory Marriott said: “The junior parkrun events are set to become the largest running series for 4 – 14 year olds anywhere in the world and I am absolutely delighted that Ipswich will be among the first to benefit from this initiative. I am very confident that we can bring the same phenomenal success of the Saturday 5km parkrun to a whole new generation of runners. I am looking forward to seeing lots of happy smiling children taking part and also hope their parents will see it as a great opportunity to join in the event as well and run with their children. I would like to thank both Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council for the support they are giving us to bring the junior parkrun to Christchurch Park. September 14th can’t come soon enough.”
Councillor Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet member for health and adult care, added: “In the words of the Chief Medical officer ‘active kids are not just investing in their future health but have healthier and happier lives today’. This is because physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels. As part of our ambitions to become the most active county in England we want to make physical activity a lifelong habit and with this in mind we are delighted that Ipswich will be one of the first areas in the East of England to introduce a junior parkrun.”