9 Dec

Mayor Boost For parkrun

Mayor of London Boris Johnson with London's Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu

London parkun was this week awarded £130,000 of funding from the Mayor of London to enable the formation of another 20 of the free weekly 5k timed parkruns across the city. The funding will also allow for the on-line communities to organise leagues and competitions.

Parkrun is one of 18 projects across the capital that has been supported to help increase participation in sport and physical activity amongst Londoners.

Paul Sinton-Hewitt of parkrun said: "This is simply brilliant news as it not only supports London's local government aims but it also directly supports my goals. It is my wish to see 212 parkruns across the UK by 2012!

"The mayor's announcement provides a massive kick-start and gets the ball rolling, offers an incentive to other major cities to do the same and proves that there are good reasons for local government across the country to chose parkrun as the vehicle to deliver on their objectives in this area.

"While the injection of funds into the construction of parkruns across London boroughs is brilliant, there are many folks outside London who are now asking if parkrun has become too London focussed. For these folks, I wish to draw your attention to my stated goal above (212 parkruns across the UK by 2012). That's a great many more than the 20 additional parkruns in London.

"In 2009 we started 15 new events and in 2010 we started 31 new events. If I am to meet my personal targets then I will need to start 80 new events next year and a similar amount the year after. This must surely address any concerns you might have of a focus on London?"

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, said: 'Sport brings huge health and social benefits to individuals, communities and this city. This is why I am continuing to do my bit to ensure we maximise the potential of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to increase participation in sports across London. Now really is the time to get involved, get off the sofa, get active and become part of London's Olympic sporting legacy!"