Bridgend is a great community and we want to share local stories about our ‘PYB Health Heroes’. Those who have made great achievements when it comes to their own health and wellbeing. And those, who encourage others to join in and make a difference to their own lives too.
In this edition of our PYB Health Heroes we will be talking about Luke, a local school boy with a huge passion for running. Luke who is 7, and his brother Jack, 5, have been taking part in Junior Parkrun with their Dad Nick, since 2015 when Luke was only 4. Luke and his Dad also do the 5k parkrun event on Saturdays.
We asked Nick to tell us more…
“Having a military background, we are an active family and fitness is important. Luke has been very active since he was about 2 years old and I started running with him at junior parkrun until he got more confident and too fast to keep up with! I run a lot with Jack but recently he has wanted to run on his own too – it’s great to see him so proud to run and be active.
Luke did his first parkrun in Oct 2015 when he was 4½. It was a notice on the reception window at his school saying that this event had just started that made us aware of it and want to give it a go. It was great because Luke really enjoyed running and nothing else was available for him at such an early age. It was very easy to take part. We registered online in about 5 mins, printed off our barcodes and were ready to go. We now use the wristband which you can order from the parkrun website as we find them more convenient.
The parkrun atmosphere is very inclusive, there’s a real family feel there. It’s very supportive – we really can’t fault it. The time it takes to complete the parkrun isn’t important and there’s always a tail walker – so no-one is last. At the end of the parkrun the children’s barcodes are scanned and later in the day you can find out their time. Having done it for a while the boys like to know how the run compares to their personal best. Luke now runs 2k in under 9 mins and has a personal best of 8 mins 51 secs and his brother Jack runs 2k in under 11 mins.
Children taking part in the junior parkrun have milestones to work towards and that are celebrated before the event starts. At the time of writing this, Luke has just completed his 100th junior parkrun. He has also done eighteen full 5k Park Runs. His most recent time for the 5k event, was an impressive 24 mins 13 secs.
If anyone is reading this and wondering whether their child should try, I would say give it a go! It’s a run for fun but the drive and determination my boys have gained from is fantastic. In the earlier years in school – nursery and reception – Luke found learning difficult but running was his reason to go to school every day to talk about it and take part in P.E. It has really helped him.
There’s no reason to think that you have to wait for the fine weather again to get started. Jack does it with loads of layers of clothing on and smiles at everyone. There’s always a good group warm up… and our secret tip is parkrun karaoke sing-song on the way (currently George Ezra’s ‘Shotgun’) to get my boys motivated. Wind, rain or sunshine it’s really fab, our whole family children, parents and grandparents enjoy it there.
Luke has a talent and a way of helping others to get up and get active. We are training buddies and have a great relationship which has been strengthened even more through the parkrun family and network.”
If you’d like to find out more about Luke’s running adventures you can take a look at the following twitter feed @Luke7goingforgold.
The boys attend Pencoed Primary School, the school is very supportive too.
Luke’s teacher also wanted to share her praise for Luke…
“I first met Luke when I taught in his reception class. He was a very keen runner. As I am a runner we used to share our stories of what we had been doing. I shared details of Junior parkrun with the parents at Pencoed Primary school and had no idea that it would mean Luke and his family becoming so passionate about. It has been inspiring to watch Luke develop as a runner and we are very proud of his achievements at parkrun. The confidence which his running has given him has added to his confidence in all areas of his school life. It is so exciting to see his brother Jack now join the parkrun journey too.”
Since writing this we have also been informed that last week Luke was 9th in the Adult parkrun in Maesteg with a new PB of 23 mins 59 secs. He was the 4th fastest ever under 10 at that event. Well done Like…one to watch! Luke’s brother Jack also got a PB of 10 mins 34 at the Junior parkrun – well done Jack.
If your family want to get involved, visit http://www.parkrun.org.uk/. Or, if you have a ‘PYB Health Hero’ story to share of someone in our Bridgend community who has made a difference to their health and wellbeing email us, we would love to share their story.
Our surgeries support parkrun and have signed up to be ‘parkrun Practices’. Find out more here.