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Parkrun events bring the community together

Parkrun encourages Clare people to embrace community and exercise

In an era thriving on digital interactions, parkrun is setting the stage for a refreshing initiative that encourages individuals across Clare and Ireland to step outside and be part of their communities, while prioritising their wellbeing through the simple acts of volunteering and walking.
#VolunteerWalkConnect is a campaign that encourages individuals to explore the realms of volunteering and walking at timed parkrun events for the first time, while simultaneously fostering a deeper connection with nature, their communities and overall wellbeing. Through walks, community engagement, and a strong online presence, the campaign aims to create a positive impact on individuals and society as a whole.
“Modern life too often keeps us indoors and disconnected, leading to a lack of engagement with our environment and limited opportunities to connect with others,” said Matt Shields, Country Manager for parkrun Ireland.
“#VolunteerWalkConnect is designed to break through these barriers by enticing people to take their first steps into the world of volunteering and walking, while at the same time reconnecting them with nature, fellow volunteers or walkers and their own physical and mental health. It will run from September 18 until October 29.
“Ireland has unfortunately earned the rank of the loneliest country in Europe. As we have seen in Inis Meáin Island, parkrun has the power to play a pivotal role in combating the pervasive feeling of isolation.
“By bringing communities together in the often beautiful and always safe backdrop of their local event, parkrun fosters a sense of belonging and shared purpose. It transforms solitary steps into a collective journey towards connection, dispelling the clouds of loneliness that often linger for too long, hidden in society.”
The #VolunteerWalkConnect campaign is taking inclusivity to heart by extending parkrun’s mission to touch the lives of those who would benefit most by participation at parkrun such as those living with Alzheimer’s/dementia, recovering from chronic illness, experiencing social isolation, living in socially disadvantaged areas, seeking international protection and members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the campaign is committed to leaving no one behind.
By removing barriers to community engagement and physical activity, while encouraging connections and providing support, the campaign highlights the narrative of inclusion and ensures that every individual’s story is valued and heard.
#VolunteerWalkConnect serves as more than just a campaign, it is a communal journey. Individuals who volunteer for the first time will have the chance to experience a stronger connection with their local community and form deeper bonds with its people and the place they call home.
Recognising the intricate relationship between physical and mental wellbeing, the campaign encourages participants to step into a healthier lifestyle and experience improved overall health and happiness. Regular walking reduces stress, improves cardiovascular health, and enhances mental clarity.

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