Calls For More Parkruns In Bradford

The report says “inactivity levels” have dropped in Bradford.

A group responsible for improving the health of people in Bradford says it would ideally like to see a parkrun event set up in every park in Bradford.

A recent report by Active Bradford – a partnership set up to get more people engaged in physical activity, revealed that the popular runs would be rolled out to Bowling Park, Wibsey Park, Peel Park and Ilkley later this year.

Parkruns are timed weekly 5k runs in public parks, and in recent months Cliffe Castle in Keighley and Myrtle Park in Bingley were added to the list of local parks to host such events.

The Active Bradford report was released earlier this month, and discussed at a recent meeting of Bradford Council’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee.

Councillors at the meeting pointed out how popular the weekly runs were becoming.

The report said “inactivity levels” – the percentage of adults who undertake less than 30 minutes of moderate activity per week – have dropped in Bradford.

In November 2016 almost a third of adults (31 per cent) fell into this category.

But in May 2018 that figure had dropped to 24.1 per cent.

And the parkruns have been hailed as one of the big success stories of the push to get more people engaged in regular activity.

At the meeting Zuby Hamard from Active Bradford said: “We are looking to increase the number of parkruns in Bradford, and set up a number of new management teams.

“Public health will be supporting us in creating some new parkruns, and people seem to be really interested in these plans.”

Councillor David Heseltine (Con, Bingley), said: “The Myrtle Park run is excellent, but that is an event where you tend to have customers who are already quite active.

“How are we able to get more non-active people to start joining in?”

Jan Burkhardt from Active Bradford said: “That is one of the challenges we face.

“We plan to have things like fun days in the parks, things to get more people out in parks.

“We’ve tested different ways to engage people before.

“We’re getting schools involved in events like the Daily Mile, and that can then transition into junior parkruns.”

When asked if the planned parkruns in the four Bradford parks would be for adults or junior parkruns, Mrs Burkhardt said: “Some will likely be junior parkruns, but that is something we’ll have to speak to communities about and see what the need is.”

Mrs Hamard said: “We will be extending the different types of parkruns we do.

“My desire is to have them in every single park in the district. We need to get more volunteers and activate communities, especially those that are inactive. We want to make it much easier for them to participate in a range of activities. We’re working with parthers and the third sector to try and do this. We can’t do this on our own.

At the meeting councillors and members of the public expressed their enthusiasm about the possibility of more parkrun events in different areas of the district.

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