Junior Parkrun aims to get more kids being active

The Burnley Athletics Club U11 runners (from left): Amelia Southam, Erika Corns, Lexi Hoggatt, Sienna Holden.
The Burnley Athletics Club U11 runners (from left): Amelia Southam, Erika Corns, Lexi Hoggatt, Sienna Holden.

Following the barnstorming success of the Burnley Parkrun, similar interst in the parallel Junior Parkrun has been gradually growing as children are encouraged to spend more time outside being active.

The weekly Saturday morning 5km Parkrun, which takes place in Towneley, averages just short of 200 runners, leading organisers to launch a Junior incarnation for runners aged four to 14 last July.

The Junior Parkrun - a free, timed two kilometre run staffed entirely by volunteers - follows the senior route and can be accessed by registering on the official Parkrun website and obtaining a bar code.

"Although numbers are good to say it is winter and not the best conditions, we feel it could do with a little push to encourage more children to get up and active instead of sitting in front of a screen all day long," said Sarah Southam, a committee member at Burnley Athletic Club and a volunteer at Junior Parkrun.

"I would also like to highlight a group of under-11 girls who have been competing for Burnley Athletics Club in this season's cross country for both Red Rose League and Mid Lancashire League," Sarah added.

"They have been performing fantastically well this season as a team They finished 4th out of 12 teams on Saturday, January 14th at Towneley Park in the Mid Lancashire League. All season they have been finishing well as a team, which is great for Burnley.

"We are so excited for next season as these girls are going from strength to strength and still have another season left as a team in this age group," Sarah explained. "In this day and age with the constant reports of children spending too long on screens and the obesity crisis, I think it's important to try and get this generation up and active."

The Burnley Junior Parkrun Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/burnleyjuniorparkrun/.