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This Girl Can teams up with parkrun to celebrate International Women's Day

The tie up aims to increase the numbers of women and girls participating in the weekly 5km event.

25th February 2020

Women and girls are being encouraged to celebrate International Women’s Day by joining their local parkrun.

On Saturday 7 March, This Girl Can is teaming up with parkrun to put on hundreds of events across the UK to inspire and attract women.

parkrun’s records show that of the 1.8 million women who are registered with parkrun, 650,000 are yet to take part, and that despite females making up 52% of their registrations, they only account for 44% of completed parkruns.

A woman gives a thumbs up to the camera after completing a parkrun

We launched This Girl Can in 2015 to help tackle the gender gap in sport and physical activity, but while it's been successful, the gap is still there.

So, this International Women’s Day parkruns across the UK will be showing their support with female volunteer teams, a brief for all newcomers, selfie frames and a suggested purple dress code.

“This Girl Can is all about breaking down barriers and helping women feel like they can be active, no matter their ability, size or lifestyle,” said Kate Dale, the This Girl Can campaign lead.

“The aim of our partnership with parkrun is to celebrate women in all their imperfect glory.

“This International Women’s Day we’re calling on the women who haven’t quite made it out there yet to join this huge female movement and take part in their local parkrun – whether they walk, run, skip or just do half of it.”


of completed parkruns in 2019 were from females, despite them making up 52% of total registrations

Our latest Active Lives Adult Survey data shows that 39% of women aren’t active, compared to 35% of men, while more research found 42% of women feel positive when they see other women post online about not being very good when it comes to getting active.

As a result, we’re encouraging women who take part to share their experience online, and there'll be a social media campaign to accompany the International Women’s Day parkrun addressing and breaking down barriers faced by women and girls when accessing physical activity.

We’re calling on the women who haven’t quite made it out there yet to join this huge female movement and take part in their local parkrun – whether they walk, run, skip or just do half of it

Kate Dale

This Girl Can campaign lead

parkrun’s ethos of it being a free, fun and inclusive activity that allows everyone to complete the 5km course at their own pace without fear of judgement, has already seen us invest £3 million to help set up 200 new parkruns, with the aim of increasing the number of women and girls from lower socio-economic groups taking part.

More than 700 parkrun events take place across the UK every Saturday morning, many of which allow buggies and dogs, making it a true family event.

“In the UK more than 1.2 million women and girls have completed a parkrun. But unfortunately, a huge proportion of women are registering for our events and not turning up,” said parkrun’s global head of health and wellbeing, Chrissie Wellington.

“Our research and insights from Sport England show that many of the reasons why are gender-related, with a fear of not being fit enough, worries about attending alone, childcare obligations and not knowing what to expect being much more commonly cited by females.

“parkrun is a world where female participation is joyfully celebrated – young and old, friends and families, walkers, joggers, runners and volunteers, and those that come along to watch and support.

“Through this campaign we want to champion women and encourage those that haven’t taken part yet to get down to their local event and give it a go, whether they run, jog or walk.”

Those already parkrunning are encouraged to bring a female friend, colleague or family member along, and everyone is invited to join the celebration online at #IWDparkrun and #ThisGirlCan.

A dedicated page is live on the parkrun website to find out more about your local International Women’s Day parkrun, as well as information to help those taking part for the first time.

Find your nearest International Women's Day parkrun

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