have fun, it's just a run!
In this first newsletter we tell you the story of parkrun Sweden, about our charity partner, Mind, and explain how you can get involved as a volunteer.
I’d like to warmly welcome everyone in Sweden to the big worldwide parkrun family! So first of all, a little bit about my background - I’m a Brit who has been living in beautiful Sweden since 2005. I have always just loved to run – as simple as that – and Sweden for me is such a fantastic place for runners. There are so many wonderful locations; along waterfronts, through forests, in parks, on gravel tracks and small country roads.
And some great races too – Lidingöloppet, Midnattsloppet, Tjejmilen, Göteborgsvarvet, Stockholm Marathon, Vår Ruset, Blodomsloppet – the list goes on. But the one thing that has been missing is parkrun on a Saturday morning! Both for the people who run but also for the people who don’t – yet! So for a long time it has been an ambition to change that and introduce Sweden to the parkrun world.
I ran my first parkrun back in 2008 back in Cardiff in Wales. I can’t remember exactly where I heard about parkrun, but I turned up to my first event, barcode in hand, not quite knowing what to expect. There were 33 runners that day – Cardiff now averages over 600 runners, so that gives you an idea of how much things have changed since then!
And the thing was I immediately ‘got it’, just like thousands – in fact millions – of other people have done since then. The only thing people ask is - "so it’s totally free, what’s the catch?" Well, there is no catch!
parkrun helps to restore your faith in humanity in an often troubling world. People are good, running and walking is fun, volunteering is rewarding. So come along and join the family. Start the weekend in a positive way. You’ll ‘get it’ pretty quickly. And remember, “Have fun, it’s just a run”!
We have great hopes for parkrun Sweden. It was a great start with Haga parkrun last week, with 91 runners taking part in the first event, and the number of people registering on the parkrun website continues to rise. parkrun is not an organisation that spends lots of money on marketing and publicity, but works on positive word of mouth from those who take part in an event.
So keep telling people that parkrun has arrived in Sweden and together we will make a network of parkruns around the country that will benefit and brighten up the lives of thousands of people.
Deri Thomas (A24286)
p.s. I’ve been here in Sweden now for 11 years and counting! Those who know me know that I often start emails - "I hope it’s okay if I write in English, please feel free to reply in Swedish". And the same applies now!
parkrun Sweden is delighted to announce a partnership with Mind, a charity that works with issues surrounding mental health in Sweden.
We look forward to playing our part in helping to highlight the importance of good mental health in society and to promote the importance of physical activity as one strand of achieving this. Here are some words from Mind’s General Secretray, Carl Von Essen, about Mind’s co-operation with parkrun Sweden.
Varför är det viktigt för Mind att samarbeta med parkrun?
Mind är en av de ledande organisationerna i Sverige för den psykiska hälsan. Mind driver flera stödverksamheter för personer som mår dåligt, samt sprider kunskap och bildar opinion för en bättre psykisk hälsa.
Motion är ett viktigt sätt att främja den psykiska hälsan. Alltfler studier visar att motion både kan förebygga psykisk ohälsa, och kan fungera som behandling när man väl är drabbad av psykisk ohälsa. Vi gillar parkruns upplägg. Vem som helst kan delta, det är gratis. Sträckan på 5 km är lagom lång, och möjlig att avverka för många människor. Det är en bra morot för den som vill förbättra sin kondition och hälsa. Samarbetet är ett bra sätt för oss att få ut våra budskap och samla in pengar.
Find out more about Mind at www.mind.se
volunteering at parkrun
So why not put yourself forward one week to volunteer to help keep parkrun run smoothly, safely and for free, every single week? There are numerous varied roles available, from Timer, to Marshal, to Run Director or Barcode scanner, so there is something for everybody! A little help now and again goes a long way.
A big thank you to all the Swedish volunteers who have helped out so far with the Haga parkrun event - you are the first Swedish parkrun volunteers and that is something very special! We look forward to welcoming many more volunteers to parkrun in the weeks, months and years to come.
If you are interested in setting up your own event, or to find out more, get in touch with us here.