Junior parkrun is helping our children’s health

I’m writing this article to encourage us parents to take our children to Junior parkrun, it is a fabulous, free, event that happens every Sunday at 9am in Cross Flatts Park.

It encourages children between the ages of 4 and 14 to be active by walking, jogging or running 2km around the park. It is run by a fantastic group of volunteers who get up early on a Sunday morning so our children can enjoy parkrun!

In an age of increasing technology, getting our children outside and active it as vital as ever! Leeds is currently ahead of the curve when it comes to the health of some of our youngest, but we are losing ground during primary school age. The graphs below show that the proportion of our young children who are categorised as obese more than doubles over their time at primary school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a city there is lots that we need to do to help, such as; look at school lunches, the number of takeaways on our streets and the ice cream vans hanging around outside schools and parks. The city also needs to do more to promote health eating and lifestyles.

However, we can also help our children enjoy the beautiful parks and open spaces across the South of Leeds (Middleton Park, Cross Flatts Park, Holbeck Moor etc). Junior parkrun is done in around 15 minutes for most children, but the benefit is more than just the time walking, jogging or running, it means that children are already in the park, having a positive experience meaning that other visits during the week are less likely to be a battle!

Over the summer is the perfect time to make the most of our green spaces and encourage our children to participate in activities like Junior parkrun.

Junior parkrun is also a wonderful opportunity to bring generations together, some of the regular volunteers are pensioners and it is great that they want to have a positive impact in our community. Likewise, some of the children take their turn volunteering and again that is great to see.

Cross Flatts Junior parkrun takes place every Sunday at 9am. It is free, but you must register online and print off a barcode. For full details go to: www.parkrun.org.uk/crossflatts-juniors.

 

This post was written by Cllr Andrew Scopes

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