Appeal to help start a junior parkrun in Bognor

Youngsters taking part in a recent Solent parkrun. Hopes are high a junior parkrun could be established in Bognor Regis

Youngsters taking part in a recent Solent parkrun. Hopes are high a junior parkrun could be established in Bognor Regis

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A fantastic new community event just for children could be coming to the town.

A group of volunteers are hoping to start a Bognor Regis Junior parkrun to take place each weekend.

There is already a hugely popular main parkrun, which is held in Hotham Park every Saturday and attracts 200 plus runners.

Because of its success, its organisers believe an event just for children would provide youngsters with a fun way to stay fit and create a community event which is badly needed locally.

Ben Bowers, who helped set up the main parkrun in Bognor two years ago, is one of a band of volunteers behind the idea.

Ben said: “We have a Bognor Regis parkrun every Saturday but we would really like to get a junior one set up around the Bognor area.

“Children can enter the main parkrun, but it’s a 5km distance which is a bit too far for some kids to run.

“This junior parkrun would be a 2km run or walk specifically for children aged four to 14 and held on a Sunday.

He added: “The nearest junior parkrun is in Eastney in Portsmouth and they get around 100 children every Sunday and the idea is to do the same over here.”

The aim is to ‘provide an opportunity for children to participate in free physical activity on a regular basis, giving them the chance to experience open space, enjoy the natural environment, to be with their friends and make new ones, to challenge themselves, to keep fit, to laugh, to smile and most of all to have fun’.

To get it off the ground, the group needs to find £3,000, and is asking for help from local businesses and groups.

“We were contacted by Arun District Council last summer about setting one up,” Ben said.

“Originally they wanted us to do it in Littlehampton, but because we already have a parkrun established over here our intention is to start it in Bognor.

“The general consensus from our runners is that it would be really popular.

“The council have already said OK to having it in the King George V Playing Fields, everything is in place to hold a fantastic community event on a Sunday for children, now all we need is the money to get it started.

“One of our volunteers, Juliette Stallard, has been really busy sending out letters asking for help. “It’s been a couple of weeks and we’ve not as yet had any money pledged, but we’re very hopeful.”

Those who can help should email: bognorregisoffice@parkrun.com