Vhi and parkrun Ireland today announced details of a new five-year partnership which will see Vhi become the presenting partner for parkrun Ireland.
This partnership will enabling the community-based running events to further develop and grow. Vhi will become the first presenting partner of parkrun globally.
The partnership with Vhi will assist parkrun Ireland to continue leading the way in the provision of community based and volunteer led physical activity. The new partnership will also support the continued growth of new events around the country and the development of a junior version, which are 2k runs for 4 – 14 year olds. There are currently four junior events in Ireland and it is hoped that 2017 will see the junior runs spread to every corner of Ireland to enhance family centred physical activity and encourage participation amongst young children.
parkrun Ireland supports local communities in organising free, weekly, timed 5k runs every Saturday morning at more than 55 venues all over Ireland, with around 5,000 people of every age and ability taking part each week. The Roscommon run takes place in Lough Key Forest Park, near Boyle.
The events are organised by more than 600 volunteers every weekend from Bere Island to Ballina to Ballinteer. Almost 80,000 registered participants have run more than 2.5 million kilometres at parkrun Ireland events since it started here in November 2012. Originally launched in the UK in 2004, parkrun is the single biggest participation running event globally with nearly three million registered participants and an average of 165,000 weekly participants.
Vhi has a long history of supporting activities that promote healthy lifestyles and is title sponsor of the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon, the biggest event of its kind in the world attracting over 35,000 participants annually. This new relationship will deepen Vhi’s support of participative running and means that Ireland’s leading health insurer will play a significant role in supporting more and more people nationwide to lace up their runners, get active and take part in a running event in 2017.
Speaking at the partnership announcement, Declan Moran, Director Marketing & Business Development, Vhi said,
“We are absolutely delighted to announce this new partnership with parkrun and we know that both organisations have strong similarities that will lead to an excellent working relationship. We are both committed to helping our members live longer, healthier, more positive lives and this partnership will enable us to do just that. There is no other movement like parkrun in Ireland and Vhi is very proud to be supporting this wonderful initiative encouraging people of all levels and abilities to take part in a free 5k run in a fun and positive environment.
He continued “As Ireland’s leading health insurer Vhi actively supports people across Ireland in their pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. The health benefits, both physical and mental, associated with running are unparalleled. We look forward to working with the parkrun team to help them grow this fantastic movement while also supporting people across Ireland get out and get active.”
“Our role as presenting partner is to provide the investment and support necessary to grow parkrun and help them fulfil their mission of having an event in every community in Ireland. We are very excited about supporting the fledgling junior parkrun movement and ensuring that children have the opportunity to develop a love for running at a young age. Studies have shown the benefits of developing healthy, active lifestyles when young and the fact that habits formed in our childhood can have lasting benefits for the rest of our lives.”
Matt Shields, parkrun Ireland country manager said,
“We are very pleased to announce this partnership with Vhi. Both Vhi and parkrun are not for profit entities that promote healthy lifestyles, so our objectives and goals are complimentary. We are looking forward to working with Vhi to grow parkrun over the next five years and to bring many more people into healthy active lifestyles through running and walking at parkrun.”
To register for a run near you visit www.parkrun.ie. New registrants should select their chosen event as their home location. You will then receive a personal barcode which acts as your free entry to any such event worldwide.
Picture Credit: Inpho Photography