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Dronfield junior parkrun

Our proposals and public consultation

Dronfield Running Club is hoping to bring a junior parkrun to the town to help encourage young people to keep active.​

The weekly 2km run is proposed to take place at Sindelfingen Park and would bring a social and healthy activity to the town for people aged 4-14.

It has been denied by the local town council and we're now asking for your input.

What is junior parkrun?

junior parkrun is a national series of 2km runs for children aged 4-14 held in areas of open space across the UK.​ There are more than 200 junior parkruns, and they take place every Sunday morning at 09:00 right across England and Wales. Locally, there are a number of events in Sheffield and Staveley, but not in Dronfield.

parkrun as a brand is open to all, it's completely free, and is safe and easy to take part in. The courses are marshalled by volunteers so that juniors will be in sight of at least one marshal at all times.

It's not about how fast you are or how far you can run. It's about enjoying yourself while taking part.​

See more about junior parkrun on their website here.

Our Proposals

Dronfield Running Club is a registered charity. Our reason for existence is defined in our stated charity aims:

“To promote community participation in healthy recreation by providing opportunities for athletics and running and related activities capable of promoting fitness, health and wellbeing.”

Dronfield Running Club intends to fully cover the set-up costs (circa £4,800) with money we have raised from hosting local events such as The Big Dipper Half Marathon and then manage the event by organising and providing marshals and volunteers on a weekly basis. We view this is an investment into the health and wellbeing of children in Dronfield.

In order to host a parkrun, we obviously need… a park. We think that Sindelfingen Park is the best venue in Dronfield to give young people in our community the chance to take part in a local, free and healthy running activity. It would take place every Sunday at 09:00, with most runners finishing in about 30 minutes.

​You can see the proposed route above, which is two laps of the park. It will take place on footpaths and one section of grass. We will share the park with everyone else, so we're not closing anything and runners will always give way to other park users.

We anticipate attracting somewhere in the region of 50-100 children to the event every week, not much more than would use the park on a busy summer's day.

Our proposals have the full backing of schools across Dronfield, with a letter of unequivocal support co-signed by Headteachers of the Partnership of Dronfield Schools which states:

"junior parkrun would bring the community together whilst promoting health, fitness, well being, and stronger mental health in the children and young people of Dronfield."

Olympic gold medallist Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill has personally added her backing to our proposals of a junior parkrun in the town, saying the events were "fantastic". In a video recorded for Dronfield RC, Dame Ennis-Hill went on to say:

"The more children that we can get active, enjoying running and with the opportunity to run together is a fantastic thing."

"The more parkruns the better, I think it creates an opportunity, a community around running and it's really good for you."

So, what's the problem?

Any proposed parkrun site needs to be approved by the land owner to operate.

Sindelfingen Park is owned and maintained by Dronfield Town Council, which has refused permission.​

We've sat in a number of meetings to plead the case, but sadly the proposal was recommended to be denied. We went away and felt we answered the council’s concerns but it was voted against at a full council meeting.

Dronfield Town Council's reasons for objection centred around site not being suitable.

These ranged from:

  • Noise in the park would upset local residents

  • Parents would ignore our request to park in the public car parks

  • Drainage concerns where paths would be wet or muddy

  • Paths being "too narrow" for children to run on

  • Groundskeeper would have to clear the paths of leaves every Friday

Parkruns happen successfully in hundreds of sites across the country where these same concerns could have been made but we firmly believe that none of Dronfield Town Council’s reasons for objection are insurmountable if they meet us at a position of wanting this to happen and work with us to find solutions.

We’ve spoken to other local sporting venues, including Gosforth Fields, who, whilst fully supportive, don't have capacity for additional events on a Sunday morning.

So, what now?

​We’re very keen to work with Dronfield Town Council to bring this fantastic event to Dronfield and are therefore hosting a consultation to gather the thoughts and feelings of local residents about our proposals.

It's important to stress that this is not a petition or protest, we’re seeking the views of everybody, good and bad, for and against, so we can fully understand whether there is public support for our proposals and present this to Dronfield Town Council to stimulate further dialogue around the use of Sindelfingen Park for the benefit of the health and wellbeing of young people living in and around Dronfield.

After all, we believe that's what our parks are there for.

Consultation Link: Give us your thoughts here


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