Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is becoming the active heart of the local community through the return of a broad range of health and wellbeing activities as pandemic restrictions ease.
The relaunch of the Park’s junior parkrun on 18 April, saw 76 children, aged four to ten, turn up to walk, jog or run through the 2km traffic-free course. On 25 April, a total of 93 children participated – a new course record for attendance.
The free event, held every Sunday at 9am, is run entirely by volunteers and follows the Outdoor City Run Route, taking in two laps of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, and finishing on the 100m track by Oasis Academy Don Valley.
It also passes the flame from the World Student Games and the English Institute of Sport Sheffield where over 120 athletes are training for Tokyo 2020.
Arif Ali, one of the Event Directors for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park junior parkrun, said: “Our young runners endured a long wait whilst our parkrun was postponed in the wake of Covid-19, so we were delighted to finally welcome back so many smiling faces to experience the physical and mental benefits of walking and running.
“Sheffield is home to many wonderful open spaces, and events like these are important for lifting community spirit by bringing together children and their families through the joy of outdoors.”
Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park 3G pitch has reopened and is being used by clubs and leagues from the local community and across the city.
Sheffield United Community Foundation launched its free Premier League Kicks football programme at the Park on 20 April. This is a weekly session held every Tuesday from 4.30pm-5.30pm, open to anyone aged 8 to 18 years old. Participants simply have to scan a QR code on arrival in order to register and comply with track and trace.
Meanwhile, Sheffield FC Disability, an all-inclusive football club aiming to further develop and enable children and adults with special needs to play football, has resumed its Monday night training sessions from 6-8pm at the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park 3G pitch.
For older individuals looking to keep active, Sheffield’s largest running store, Accelerate, offers a coached running session every Friday from 10.30am, in the Park’s purpose-built running area, for anyone aged 50 and over, no matter their ability level.
Former Minister of Sport and Project Lead, Richard Caborn, said: “We’ve all experienced a great deal of change and challenge over the past year, but one thing that has remained the same is the important role Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park has in the heart of our local community.
“It’s fantastic to see such a wide range of sports and activities finally able to resume, and with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon, there has never been a better opportunity for everyone to join together in forging an Olympic legacy.”
More activities are set to start in May, including an 8-a-side amateur Twenty20 cricket league called Last Man Stands designed to easily fit around personal and professional commitments for both individuals and teams. Local winners can even enter regional finals for a chance to progress to the national finals.
On the 23 May at 11am, the whole family are invited to ‘Go for Gold’ at a free guided bike ride around Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park’s traffic-free cycle routes, followed by an optional picnic.
Darnall Well Being’s High Hazels Park health walk has recently restarted, and there are plans to work with Darnall Well Being to introduce a Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park health walk in the near future.