Local sport for local people

The Brownlee brothers face the media pack at the Leeds parkrun

The excitement of the London 2012 Olympics may have died down a little, but not a lot. The Join In Local Sport campaign is encouraging us to all to get off our backsides and join in something sporty. Not that we need much encouragement here in the Independent Kingdom of Yorkshire, we ARE sport.

Just in case you’ve been on Mars with the Curiosity Rover, whose cameras were pointing at the Olympics to see all the action, Yorkshire did well in the medals table. Very well indeed, in fact, we finished 12th, with seven golds, three silver and two bronze, which was above Spain, Jamaica, South Africa and Brazil. Not that we’re counting or showing off or anything, noooo, not us.

Two of our medal winners joined in the Joined In campaign, turning up at the Leeds Hyde Park parkrun, one of the best examples of local sport for local people ever invented. It’s a weekly timed 5k run – and it’s free, we Tykes like that. The Brownlee brothers, who won gold and bronze in the triathlon, started us off then, to the relief of anyone wanting a personal best and those of us who don’t want to be lapped twice, they peeled off and set off to Sheffield in the pink Join In bus.

The bus had also brought BBC presenter John Inverdale and former Olympian Sharon Davies, along with the lovely David Moorcroft, former world record holder for the 5000 metres (or parkrun distance as we like to call it in our house) and a keen parkrunner. He hung around and applauded us all as we finished our first lap, I was touched, I’ve never been applauded by a champion before!

The idea of Join In is to join an established club or to start something up so others can take part. Here in our village, there’s no excuse, all the local sports are listed in the Creative Calverley site. Well, it’s only four years to the Olympics in Rio…….

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