Action research with parkrun UK volunteer organizers to develop inclusive strategies
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This article addresses the challenge of promoting physical activity through a focus on equity and engaging physically inactive citizens through the development of inclusive strategies within parkrun UK—a free, volunteer-led, weekly mass community participation running event. We discuss how a UK-based action research design enabled collaboration with volunteer event organizers to understand participant experiences, constraints and develop localized inclusive practices. In contrast with ‘expert’-driven health behaviour interventions, our research pursued a ‘ground up’ approach by asking what can be learnt from the successes and challenges of organizing community events, such as parkrun UK, to promote inclusion? A modified participatory action research approach was used with four parkrun sites across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, that involved quantitative and qualitative analysis of survey data (n = 655) that informed the process. Our analysis explored parkrunners’ and volunteer organizers’ perceptions relating to (i) the demographics of parkrun participation and (ii) actions for change in relation to the challenges of engaging marginalized groups (women, ethnic minorities, low income, older people, those with disabilities or illness). We discuss the challenges and opportunities for addressing (in)equity and inclusion through volunteer-based organizations and the implications for translating knowledge into organizational strategies.
Fullagar , S , Petris , S , Sargent , J , Allen , S , Akhtar , M & Ozakinci , G 2019 , ' Action research with parkrun UK volunteer organizers to develop inclusive strategies ' , Health Promotion International , vol. Advance article . https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daz113
Health Promotion International
Copyright © 2019 the Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daz113
DescriptionThis work was supported by Cancer Research UK.
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