Volunteers setting up a fun fitness session for youngsters can hit the ground running thanks to a donation from Herne Bay councillors.
An application for funding to start a junior parkrun at Reculver received support from all the town’s Conservative councillors at a meeting of Herne Bay Area Member Panel yesterday (Tuesday).
Parkruns are free weekly sessions organised by volunteers to encourage people to enjoy regular exercise. Adults take part in timed 5k runs while children aged four to 14 can tackle a shorter 2k course. At the moment, parkruns take place in Whitstable and Canterbury but Herne Bay does not yet have one.
The funding application was supported by Reculver councillor Ann Taylor, who said it would bring benefits to the whole area.
She said: “It is a requirement of parkrun that there is a defibrillator available within five minutes of the start and at the moment there is not one anywhere in Reculver.
“The funding would ensure this life-saving equipment is available to everyone who lives in the area as well as visitors to the country park and Reculver Towers and those taking part in the parkrun.
“Providing the money for a defibrillator will also mean the parkrun can become a reality, giving young people the opportunity to take part in a fun community event that allows them to enjoy regular exercise.”
The course will take in part of the country park and runners will be encouraged to visit HatHats Coffee Company’s outlet at the Reculver visitor centre for a post-run drink and snack.
Once the junior parkrun is established on Sundays, organisers intend to set up an adult session on Saturday mornings.
Cllr Taylor added: “Reculver is a much-improved area now with the new play park, increased car parking and the visitor centre with HatHats.
“The parkrun will add to that by improving the health and wellbeing of young people from Reculver and the rest of Herne Bay. It will also benefit local businesses by bringing more people to the area for the runs.”
A total of £1,500 was awarded to the project from the area member panel’s opportunities fund, and another £1,500 has been granted by Herne Bay’s Conservative county councillors Andrew Cook, Alan Marsh and Ian Thomas.
The set-up costs add up to just over £4,000 and the rest will be paid for by fundraising.
The Reculver junior parkrun will start in the next few weeks and will take place at 9am on Sundays. For more information, visit www.parkrun.org.uk