Catford is about to welcome parkruns in Mountsfield Park after years of effort from volunteers.
Parkruns are held across London and the UK, where people come together in local parks for free, timed five-kilometre runs, in order to help create a community feel.
Hilly Fields and Beckenham host parkruns, but the members of the community in Catford wanted one closer to their homes.
“I was doing a lot of training in my local park and felt it would be a lovely venue for a parkrun and a nice thing to share with the community,” said David Rose, an archive researcher who has spent the past two years campaigning for a parkrun in Mountsfield Park.
Rose himself has been involved with parkruns since 2010.
In order for the parkrun to take place in Mountsfield Park and for parkrun headquarters to contribute to the funding, volunteers had to show that there was interest in the community to take part in a parkrun.
Rose decided to set up a voting campaign on Aviva Community Fund back in summer of 2017 to see whether people were interested in having a parkrun in Catford. It was a successful campaign and many people came out in favour of the proposed parkrun.
A date for the first parkrun has been set, but according to Rose the parkrun headquarters want to keep this under wraps so the event can have a soft launch.
“We don’t want to overwhelm the volunteer team, other park users of the council by having 500 people turn up on the first weekend, but if you come to the park at 9am on a Saturday in eight weeks or so there’s a good chance you’ll stumble upon a parkrun,” said Rose.
He has a message to anyone thinking of joining in: “Just come along. Everyone is welcome at parkrun and the mere fact that you want to participate is the very best outcome for all of us.”