Intersport UK & Ireland celebrates new parkrun partnership and Intersport store opening at Wimbledon
Intersport UK & Ireland was announced as the official partner for parkrun and junior parkrun from 2016, and Saturday 23rd January saw the first event where Intersport was visible to the parkrun community and officially recognised as a partner.
Intersport put a stake in the ground at this first partnership event in South West London, which coincided with the opening of the new Intersport store at 28 The Broadway in Wimbledon and provided the perfect platform for a visible connection of the partnership.
parkrun are free events that are coordinated by local volunteers and open to runners, joggers and walkers of all abilities. The first parkrun took place in Bushy Park, London, on the 2nd of October 2004, with 13 runners and a handful of volunteers. parkrun now delivers free, weekly timed runs at around 800 locations in 11 countries every weekend, with over two million registered runners worldwide.
More than 350 runners, joggers and walkers were lining the start line for their weekly free 5K in Wimbledon, and after a warm welcome from the Run Director and a few words from parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt they set off around Wimbledon Common. Staff members from Intersport Wimbledon were also taking part, actively showing their support for the runners and the parkrun in their local community.
After completing parkrun, the opening of Intersport Wimbledon was celebrated with General Manager of Intersport UK Tom Foley, parkrun founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt and parkrun CEO Nick Pearson, as well as runners and press making their way to the new Intersport store owned by Peter Swann.
A foundation video has been created celebrating the partnership and community collaboration. The video will be released in the next few weeks and become part of a series as the connection moves across the UK and Ireland over the next year. The foundation video series will create a visual journey across the first year of the partnership showing the seasonality and product support for runners that Intersport retailers offer the parkrun community.
The new Intersport store at Wimbledon was very well received by the runners and the parkrun community, with everybody aware of the role the sporting goods retailer plays in the community, supporting grassroots sport and offering expert advise across a range of sports with a focus on running.
The three-year partnership will allow parkrun in the UK and Ireland to continue leading the way in the provision of grassroots physical activity for parkrun on a Saturday and junior parkrun on a Sunday. Intersport’s investment will assist with the establishment of new parkrun events while supporting existing event teams, including the Run Directors and volunteers, with essential kit. Intersport will also supply the bibs for junior parkrun across the UK.
Additionally, Intersport will be providing exclusive offers to parkrun’s rapidly expanding community, which currently stands at 1.3 million registered participants who run in over 400 locations in UK & Ireland alone each weekend.
General Manager of Intersport UK & Ireland, Tom Foley, said: “This is an exciting partnership that we are both very proud of achieving, creating a platform of support for the continuation of provision and further growth of grassroots physical activity and the phenomenon that is parkrun. Intersport is ‘Sport to the People’ and this partnership brings our philosophy to life, supporting runners across the UK and Ireland.”
parkrun UK Founder, Paul Sinton-Hewitt, added: “This is the perfect partnership and we welcome the support of parkrunners across the UK and Ireland to embrace this partnership and truly show the passion our runners have for sport, grassroots physical activity and true empowerment of ‘Sport to the People’ that our community represents.”
Peter Swann, Owner of Intersport Wimbledon, said: “We are all about the runner primarily and very glad to connect with parkrun. We are enthusiastic about bringing Sports Performance back onto the high street in key locations across London.
“My first store was in Herne Hill and this is our second store, with further development plans in the pipeline. Exceptional service, great knowledge, true convenience and good product are key areas we pride ourselves in delivering and are at the heart of all we do”.