Prisoners on the run! Jail starts its own parkrun
PUBLISHED: 13:20 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:20 27 April 2018
It is a community event which has taken the country by storm - and has now headed into a Norfolk prison.
HMP Wayland, near Watton, has become only the third prison in the UK to take part in hugely popular parkrun.
During the prison’s inaugural event, held on Saturday, April 14, 37 runners took part, including members of staff and the prison’s governor Paul Cawkwell.
The 5km run involves 10 zig-zagged laps of the enclosed prison sports field, with the volunteer roles being taken on by offenders.
Prison exercise instructor Roger Steggles was tasked with setting up the event following the successful launch of parkruns at HMP Haverigg, Cumbria, and Magilligan prison in Northern Ireland.
He said: “Most offenders were initially sceptical about the idea of a parkrun. However everyone was buzzing after the launch and it’s prompted an influx of applications from around the prison, both to run and to volunteer.
“I now have 50 runners [the maximum capacity] and 10 volunteers booked for every weekend, with several more on the waiting list.”
Unlike most events, the Wayland parkrun will be closed to the public.
David Nicholson, head of reducing reoffending, said the parkrun is a positive step forward for the prison.
“This is a fantastic activity that everyone, no matter of their ability, can take part in to improve their health, wellbeing and self-esteem,” he said.
“We encourage men to fully participate in activities which mirror the community outside. This contributes to their resettlement and reintegration when they’re released, - giving them the best opportunity not to reoffend in the future.”
There are currently more than 490 5km parkruns and 200 junior parkruns in the UK. There are 12 across Norfolk.
Mr Steggles added: “I’m very excited about the future of parkrun here at Wayland and seeing it evolve. I’ve already had offenders telling me their families are following their results on the parkrun website. I look forward to them continuing their involvement with parkrun in the community after their release.”
More information visit the Wayland parkrun website.