HSP Board Member attends a Parliamentary Reception in honour of parkrun’s 20th

Parliamentary Reception was held at 10 Downing Street in honour of parkrun's 20th anniversary.

On Monday 22 April a Parliamentary Reception was held at 10 Downing Street in honour of parkrun's 20th anniversary.

The event was hosted by The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, together with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Frazer, along with the All Party Parliamentary Group for parkrun, chaired by Nick Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent. Hertfordshire was represented by super volunteers Rab and Pat Harley, Kath Evans who started NHS1000 which encourages NHS staff to cover 1000 miles a year and Regional Ambassador Louise Smith, who is also a Herts Sport & Physical Activity Board Member. They were joined by dozens of parkrun volunteers, staff, sponsors and MPs for a joyful few hours celebrating the enormous impact of parkrun.

From small beginnings in October 2024 when parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE (pictured alongside Rab, Pat and Louise) met with 13 runners and 5 volunteers in Bushy Park, parkrun has seen phenomenal engagement, and last weekend welcomed 183,296 participants across the UK parkrun network at one of 795 events supported by 19,000 volunteers.

Following the formal reception and speeches, a group of volunteers took part in the first (and only) Downing Street mini parkrun. This was started in the garden by The Prime Minister and took in 2 laps of Downing Street then in through the doors of No 10 and up the stairs to be greeted by The Prime Minister and assembled guests.

Louise said 'I was so proud and honoured to be able to represent the Hertfordshire parkrun community at this unique event. It was a joyous afternoon that highlighted the difference that parkrun has made to so many lives and also a great opportunity to meet so many fellow volunteers and Larry the Downing Street cat!'


For more information about parkrun click here.

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