All posts by Saul Wynne

Evidence on the reach and impact of parkrun!

Evidence on the reach and impact of parkrun

Evidence on the reach and impact of parkrun

original article by

A team of academics reviewed existing research highlighting that parkrun participants show improvements in, among other things, fitness, total physical activity, and mood.

Here, one of the researchers, Dr Anne Grunseit from the Prevention Research Collaboration at the Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, talks us through the findings.

parkrun is unique among interventions for increasing physical activity – few have enjoyed the international popularity that parkrun has, or have lasted so long. By contrast, scientific research on parkrun is limited. We have just published a review of the existing research and found 15 studies (from 2004 to December 2019) which have looked specifically at parkrun and parkrunners, including around the health and wellbeing impact of participation in these events. There were 12 studies from the UK and three from Australia.

The research highlights that parkrun participants show improvements in, among other things, fitness, total physical activity, and mood (stress, anxiety and depression). Most encouraging is that the positive effects are largest for those who are less active when they registered with parkrun, and that there is a dose response: that is, the more frequently someone participates in parkrun events, the bigger the positive impact.

The emphasis on participation rather than competition and its social nature are thought to drive parkrun’s appeal to traditionally underrepresented groups in sport and physical activity, such as women or those who are less active.

According to the research we reviewed, parkrun’s appeal seems to come from the sense of achievement, physical movement, being in pleasant surroundings and the opportunity for social interaction. The volunteering aspect of parkrun gives people the opportunity to participate even if they do not run or walk the 5k. parkrun also gives people who do not normally think of themselves as runners, a new and unifying identity – that of being a parkrunner – which connects them to a community based around being active.

Our study concludes that the evidence of the positive effect of parkrun participation is promising, but that there is still room for increasing scientific understanding about parkrun, its implementation and its impacts. Researchers could, for example, undertake studies in a wider range of parkrun territories, build insight about those who register for parkrun but don’t actually participate or look more closely at how parkrun can be made even more inclusive, for example for those with health conditions and disabilities or people from deprived communities.

There is such potential to learn so much more from this unique phenomenon, and, as researchers, we look forward to contributing to the development of this understanding.

Dr Anne Grunseit


Parkrun – London List

Quick link to the London Parkrun List

Parkrun is the UK’s most successful provider of free physical activity, and has more than one million registered participants. There are 360 5k events across the UK and more than 70 junior parkrun events (2k for 4-14 year olds). Every week we welcome about 75,000 people and 8,000 volunteers to our events.

All UK  Parkrun events  Link here:

We have many VI participants, as runners, joggers, walkers and volunteers. However, we are keen to encourage more VI people and their families to take part.take place in the same location at the same time each week. This enables people to develop familiarity with the course and also the other participants (who generally attend most weeks) 

We believe that the events are accessible for those that are VI because they: 

  • have a strong sense of community spirit and mutual support and encouragement
  • are not races, and hence non-intimidating
  • allow dogs (including guide dogs)
  • do not require special equipment

We also have a large number of parkrunners who are trained and willing to be running guides.We are incredibly keen to welcome the VI community to parkrun.

London ParkRun List

  1.    Ally Pally
  2.    Barking
  3.    Beckton
  4.    Bedfont Lakes
  5.    Bexley
  6.    Brockwell
  7.    Bromley
  8.    Burgess
  9.    Bushy Park
  10.    CranePark
  11.    Crystal Palace
  12.    Dulwich
  13.    Finsbury Park
  14.    Fulham Palace
  15.    Gladstone
  16.    Greenwich
  17.    Grovelands
  18.    Gunnersbury
  19.    Gunpowder
  20.    Hackney Marshes
  21.    Hampstead Heath
  22.    Harrow
  23.    Harrow Lodge
  24.    Highbury Fields
  25.    Hilly Fields
  26.    Kingston
  27.    Lloyd
  28.    Mile End
  29.    Nonsuch
  30.    Northala Fields
  31.    Oak Hill
  32.    Old Deer Park
  33.    Orpington
  34.    Osterley
  35.    Peckham Rye
  36.    Pymmes
  37.    Raphael
  38.    Richmond Park
  39.    Riddlesdown
  40.    Roundshaw Downs
  41.    South Oxhey
  42.    Southwark
  43.    Valentines
  44.    Walthamstow
  45.    Wanstead Flats
  46.    Wimbledon Common
  47.    Wormwood Scrubs

If you find the London Parkrun List useful,  please feel free to share below.

To take part all you need to do is register on and head down to your local event. If you would feel more comfortable contacting someone beforehand, and perhaps arranging for someone to act as a guide or helping hand,

please email the Event Director whose contact details are on the individual event’s website.


British Blind Sport launches Christmas Appeal!

British Blind Sport launches Christmas Appeal!

British Blind Sport launches Christmas Appeal!

At midday today, the British Blind Sport Christmas Appeal will be open for donations! We have a match-funding pot this year, which means that any donations made to British Blind Sport via our unique giving link between midday on Tuesday 1st December and midday on Tuesday 8th December will be doubled!

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been keeping the VI community active from the safety of their homes through virtual classes and exercise sessions. Not only are people at risk of being more sedentary during the current crises, but social isolation, especially among vulnerable people, is a huge issue faced by many in the UK. We want to combat isolation and inactivity through sport this Christmas.

Our Christmas Stars, Alex and Lyn, are helping us to raise awareness of the importance of uniting people with sight loss during the Coronavirus pandemic. Lyn and Alex have both embraced the events and classes that BBS provide and have thrived in their active live because of it. Our events have also helped them to remain socially connected with friends and peers through physical activity.

You can read about Alex and Lyn’s stories here.

Help us to unite people with sight loss through sport this Christmas by donating between NOW and Tuesday 8th December and see your donation DOUBLED.

We’d like to thank our wonderful match funders who are supporting the Christmas Appeal this year: iPro Sports and Yellow Jersey.



Football: London Metro Futsal Club Training 22 Dec

Football: London Metro FC Training
Score Centre, Oliver Road, London E10 5JY
6.30 pm - 8.30 pm
22nd December 2020
Free * Booking Required *

London Metro FC Training Sessions

I am delighted to confirm that Metro Blind Sport are returning to football at the Score Centre in Leyton. Listed below are the guidelines for our return and I would kindly ask that you read these carefully. Should you have any questions about the information or require support in booking the sessions then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

COVID Arrangements: Score Centre Leyton

We are excited about restarting sessions at the Score Centre and want to make sure that players, volunteers and other helpers feel as safe and comfortable as possible.

There are some changes that are in place and we will follow rules and guidelines from the venue, these may be subject to change as we go along and we appreciate your patience and co-operation as we adapt to the situation.

If you have any queries please let me know or speak to Charlie Raven before you attend or speak with Gareth Jones during the session.

Contact Details


It is essential to know the numbers in advance of who is coming. Please book your sessions so that we can gain relevant information for track and trace purposes. Players should not attend if they have not booked in advance.

Event Details

London Metro FC Training Session

Booking Required

Date: 22 December 2020   Time: 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm

Available places: 15

Venue: Score Centre, Oliver Road, London E10 5JY

The booking form  is:

Contact: Charlie Email or call 07956292046



All participants and workforce should take the pre-screening questionnaire before leaving home –and keep the results for 21 days.

Members, coaches and volunteers must NOT attend if they:

Have Covid-19 symptoms. List of symptoms can be found here

Have someone in their household who does have symptoms and is in isolation

Have been asked to remain at home by the UK Government track and trace system, or those that are in the clinically vulnerable group. Government advice is detailed here.


Pre-screening questionnaire

Before leaving the house to participate in activity, please check you:

Do not have symptoms of a high temperature (feeling hot, feeling cold, shivers, feeling under the weather).

Do not have a new persistent cough.

You have not got a loss of taste or smell.

You have not been in contact with a person with suspected COVID-19 within the past 48 hours.

You have not been advised to self-isolate due to a third party from another setting (i.e. school) that has been infected with COVID-19.

No-one within your household has COVID-19 symptoms as outlined above, which would require the whole household to go into isolation as guided by UK Government.

Individuals must not attend a session if any of the above are true.


Meet and Greet

We have always offered a meet and greet service for members for our football sessions from Leyton Tube Station. The current situation makes offering this service a challenge in the short term. Therefore, we would advise players to safely make their own way to the Score Centre wherever possible. If this is not possible then arrangements can be made. We will discuss guiding requirements with those players that have booked in to play 24 hours before the session, via email or text.

If guiding does occur to and from the station, this may be completed at differing times and may include verbal guiding.

The Score Centre requires players to enter the facility as a group and depart from the facility as a group. We ask that players, coaches and volunteers wait safely outside the front doors. Please note, the Score Centre includes other services, including a nursery, and other people may be waiting outside. 

Toilets and changing rooms

Only the toilet areas are in use and the changing rooms are closed, therefore we recommend that you get changed before leaving home and have secondary clothing to wear once training has finished. Lockers are available if required.

Hand Sanitising

There are several hand sanitising stations around the venue, but we ask you to bring your own, and encourage you to take advantage of drink breaks for regular hand sanitising. There is a wall-attached hand sanitising station on the right hand side as you enter the building. You are likely to be instructed by the centre staff to use this on entry.

Centre Changes

There is a one way system onto the courts, and the Score Centre have been asking customers to leave via the fire exits on court. Please not that this is quite dark and therefore please take extra care.

Spectators are not allowed.

Face Covering

It is not a requirement to wear a face covering at the Score Centre and advice is not to wear one whilst playing football, please do however feel free to wear one where you feel that social distancing is not able to be maintained. Face coverings will be required if guiding occurs to and from the tube station.



Please ensure you bring your own equipment to use. Please ensure that footballs and other equipment is sanitised regularly.


Opt-in notice

By attending football sessions, you are personally opting into the session on the basis that you have received relevant information to make an informed choice. If you feel you do not have all the information required, please request further information, or do not attend.

Any person found deliberately or consistently breaking the guidance at the discretion of the Sport Leads or Metro Blind Sport staff set out by Metro Blind Sport will be asked to leave the activity with immediate effect.

In this instance details will be passed onto Metro Blind Sport as the organisation responsible for the measures in line with Government advice.


We look forward to seeing you all again, we hope these measures will enable you to enjoy the sessions, if unsure about anything please ask using the contact details below.

Martin Symcox
October 2020

Contact Details



Ski for Light International Event: Virtually Everywhere!

Ski for Light: International Virtually Everywhere Event! 27 - 30 Jan 2021


Registration now open for the Ski for Light International Event: Virtually Everywhere! While we wish we could get together in person, we will still exercise our creativity, to connect, share and learn via technology.

Register now so you can join us Wednesday, January 27 through Saturday, January 30, 2021, for our first-ever virtual event!

We will gather via the Zoom platform for three to four hours per day to enjoy many of the activities we’d normally experience in-person. We plan a fitness program to get your blood pumping, special interest sessions to expand your knowledge, and a closing banquet full of comedy and song.

And for the first time, SFL attendance will be free! All registrants will receive a Ski for Light patch and a stretch band with the SFL Logo.

Not familiar with zoom? Don’t worry. We’ll be scheduling some zoom training so that everyone can participate in the event. So, register now at the link at the bottom of this email.  I’ve also provided a link to the SFL bulletin, which provides more information about the event.

To register for the event, go to: The 2021 Ski for Light International Event: Virtually Everywhere (


Ski for Light: Virtually Everywhere Event Details

The COVID-19 pandemic has created so many disruptions and hardships, all around the world, but it can’t prevent the Ski for Light community from connecting via technology. Join us January 27 – 30, 2021, for our first-ever virtual event! From Wednesday through Saturday, we will gather via the Zoom platform to enjoy many of the activities we’d normally experience in-person, promoting fitness and friendships, plus a few fun surprises-all while safely at home.

Most sessions will be conducted live via Zoom between 6 and 10 p.m. Eastern time; recordings will be posted to the SFL YouTube channel for enjoying anytime, and we’ll be sharing content via Facebook and Twitter as well. Participants can choose to join as many or as few of the virtual event sessions as they wish.

The program schedule will include the following types of sessions:

  • An opening night welcome program
  • Stretching, yoga and other physical activities to get your body moving
  • Personal challenges to step up your own fitness program, go further, or try something new, with resources that will help you reach your fitness goals
  • Special-interest sessions on a wide range of topics
  • How to participate in SFL as a guide or visually or mobility impaired skier
  • A live auction featuring fabulous items of all kinds
  • A Saturday night “banquet” (dress-up optional, BYO everything), with inspiring speakers, awards and other festivities

There is no cost to attend the 2021 Ski for Light International Virtual Event, but we ask everyone who wants to be a part of the week to complete and submit the short application linked below. Each registrant for the event will receive via postal mail an embroidered Ski for Light event patch and a customized SFL logo resistance band (handy for home strength training and stretching), free of charge. Each registrant will also be enrolled in an event e-mail listserve, which will be used to keep you informed about the program schedule as it is finalized, to send you additional information about the fitness program and challenges that will be part of the event, and to send you the information that you will need to access each session via zoom, or to access event recordings on YouTube.

A custom SFL logo fleece headband has also been especially created for the event. This performance headband, in bright royal blue with the Ski for Light logo on the front, is the perfect screen-friendly fashion accessory for our upcoming virtual event. You can learn more about the headband and order one if you wish by going to The cost of each headband is $25.00 which includes shipping and handling expenses.

The 2021 Virtual Event Chair is Bonnie O’Day. If you have questions, want to suggest program ideas for the week, or wish to be involved in the work of putting the event together, please contact Bonnie via e-mail at

Also linked below is a description of Special-Interest Sessions and how they will be conducted at the virtual event. We are seeking volunteers to lead such sessions, and you may indicate your interest in leading a session by completing the short form at the end of the description.

Come Zoom with us in January, and soon, we’ll be back out on the trails with each other, zooming for real.

2021 Event Application and Special Interest Sessions

The SFL Bulletin, with more details about the event can be found at: Ski for Light Bulletin Fall 2020 (

To purchase a headband, go to: SFL Logo Headband


SFL Well at Home

We Ski for Lighters usually like to get up and go, but right now, in service of public health, we’re hunkering down. To help our far-flung community stay fit, positive, and connected during the COVID-19 crisis, we’re pulling together some fun digital content featuring your SFL friends sharing their favorite at-home exercises, meditations, motivational tips, and more.

Got a short video or audio to share, or maybe a request for help? Reach out to SFL vice president Julie Coppens, at or send us a message on our Facebook page. Thanks for contributing and participating, and be well!

Here’s a link to our Facebook videos (you don’t need a Facebook account to watch):

Here’s a link to an audio recording of an SFL morning stretch class from a few years ago (but still great!), led by Nino Pacini:

And because we all need to remember to breathe in these anxious times, here’s a link to SFL guide Betsy Thomason’s 10-minute video intro to her book JUST BREATHE OUT:





Meet the Sight Loss Councils – 3 December!

Meet the Sight Loss Council 3 Dec 4-5 pm

Meet the Sight Loss Councils

Sight Loss Councils, led by blind and partially sighted volunteers, are working to influence positive change for visually impaired people across the UK.

The event will be hosted by Jaldeep Katwala, an established journalist with more than 30 years’ experience of working as a media professional around the world. Join us on International Day of People with Disabilities (3 December) at our Meet the Councils event to learn more about our work.

Date: Thursday 3 December Time:  4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Register Here:

This promises to be an inspiring and engaging event where you will be able to find out how to get involved. Sight Loss Council members will share examples of their work to improve the lives of blind and partially sighted people locally, regionally and nationally.