Housebuilder Bellway, which is one of the developers at Kingsmere, has donated £250 towards establishing a regular new parkrun in Bicester for younger runners.
Bicester’s adult parkrun, held every Saturday morning around Langford village, already attracts around 300 runners a week over a 5km course.
Now local parkrun organisers are looking to raise around £3,000 to establish a new 2km parkrun for children aged four to 14.
This would be held every Sunday morning around Whitelands Farm Sports Ground in Kingsmere, Bicester.
Katy Andrews, Event Director for Bicester Parkrun, said: “There are younger children that run the Saturday parkrun, however I know many parents are put off by the 5km distance.
“Bicester Junior parkrun seeks to bridge the gap and provide weekly, fun 2km events.
“They are open to everyone, free, are safe to take part in and are specifically designed for participants from ages four to 14.
“The money will be used to buy all the set-up equipment, including a laptop, scanners, hi-vis vests, start and finish funnels and signage.”
Katy said she hoped the funding could be raised to start the new junior parkrun this summer.
Bellway Sales Manager, Lindsey Davenport (right) with the Bicester parkrun team
Lindsey Davenport, Sales Manager for Bellway Northern Home Counties, said: “We’re building new homes at Saxon Meadows, off Whitelands Way in Kingsmere, Bicester, so the new junior parkrun would be less than a mile from our development.
“We always aim to add something to the communities in which we’re building, so this was a natural fit for us.
“Families who have bought at Saxon Meadows may well benefit from this new provision and we can see that it will be an excellent addition to an already flourishing community.”
Katy said: “Parkruns have become more and more popular because they’re free, they’re fun and it’s regular, friendly exercise.
“They’re good for your physical and mental health.
“As a free event the Junior parkrun will support all parts of the community, regardless of affordability and children will interact with others who are in different schools and communities locally.”
There is only one other Junior parkrun in the area – at Buckingham – and ‘Parkrun Tourism’ (travelling to different races than your local one) is popular among runners.
It is expected that the Bicester Junior parkrun will attract families from across Oxfordshire, and runners are encouraged to take part in their own way, by either walking, jogging, running or volunteering.
If you would like to register for a parkrun, go to parkrun.org.uk/bicester. For more information about Bellway visit bellway.co.uk