The parkrun at Rushcliffe Country Park will be one of hundreds of ‘parkruns’ around the UK to host a special NHS birthday celebration event on Saturday 9 June.
The initiative, known as ‘parkrun for the NHS,’ aims to recognise the contribution of the NHS to the health of the nation and inspire people to take part in physical activity and volunteering.
Rushcliffe parkrun is a free 5k event that takes place every Saturday morning at 9am. It is open to walkers and runners of all ages and abilities and is coordinated entirely by volunteers from the local community.
On 9 June members of the NHS team, and their family and friends, are invited to show their support by parkrunning in their work gear, whether that be their scrubs, uniform, a lab coat or whatever else they wear to work in the amazing organization that is the National Health Service. All parkrunners are welcome to join in the fun and wear NHS fancy dress.
There will be a dedicated walking group with a target finish time of 50 to 55 minutes. parkrun is not a race and they want to show it is open to walkers and runners of all ages and abilities so that they may to experience the fun on a Saturday morning. The joy of parkrun is for everyone!
Geoff Hardy, parkrun Co-Event Director said: “We would love to see as many NHS staff as possible on the day, to walk, run, volunteer or simply receive a well earned round of applause for the incredible contribution they make to our community – everyone is invited!”
“Rushcliffe parkrun is a friendly, welcoming event that provides a perfect opportunity to get out in the fresh air to socialise and be physically active in a supportive environment.”
The ‘parkrun for the NHS’ initiative is being supported by Dame Kelly Holmes, a regular parkrunner who worked as a nursing assistant before going into the British Army and later becoming a full-time athlete. Kelly said:
“Increased levels of activity leads to improved mood, self-esteem and a wide range of health benefits. I know from first-hand experience how sociable and welcoming parkruns are, so it’s fantastic to see it join forces with the NHS in its 70th year to encourage even more people to get active in this special year.”
The growing levels of obesity in adults and children is a major health issue for the NHS, as it can lead to a number of serious and potentially life-threatening conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and stroke. Obesity can also affect quality of life and lead to psychological problems.
The cost to the NHS of treating diabetes alone is around £10 billion every year – nearly 10% of the NHS budget. It is estimated that obesity is responsible for more than 30,000 deaths each year and that obesity could overtake tobacco smoking as the biggest cause of preventable death.
In August 2017, parkrun conducted a UK-wide survey of almost 2,000 healthcare professionals. Over three in every five (63%) responding revealed that they prescribe parkrun in some form, while almost nine in ten (88%) said they would consider referring users to parkrun.