Rothwell Leisure Centre takeover Leeds’ Newest parkrun!

David Harris

A few months ago, Rothwell became the latest suburb of Leeds to benefit from the global phenomenon that is ‘parkrun’. Held within the extremely scenic Springhead Park, event number 15 saw the marshalling takeover by Rothwell Leisure Centre, a council-run facility, located just a kilometre away from the start line.


For me, the local leisure centre has always been the heart of the community due to the caring and supportive nature of the staff that work there. Their sole purpose is to ensure that they provide a safe and supportive environment for everyone to participate in exercise to improve their health and wellbeing, both physically and socially. Since becoming personally involved with parkrun a number of years ago, it soon became clear that the aims of this incredible movement run parallel to those of the leisure centre – and to work in a community that has the pleasure of hosting both is extremely fortunate. Volunteering is massively advocated by parkrun, and they say in doing so, it can be as rewarding as actually running. For our inspirational staff to have the chance to team up for a morning in a role that they are already so gifted at, well, it seemed a natural partnership.


For many people who are new to exercise, a gym, health club or leisure centre can be an intimidating prospect. The leisure centre staff that attended the event included members of the management team, receptionists, recreation assistants, gym staff and fitness instructors. For those parkrunners who haven’t visited the centre before, it was a chance for them to experience the encouragement and support they will receive at the leisure centre. To work together with parkrun on 11th November was an absolute pleasure, and if the staff’s enthusiasm and assistance during this event was enough to break down that barrier in attending the centre for even just one person, then the morning was an extreme success from our point of view.


I could write for on and on about the facilities and programme our leisure centre holds, but what I think is more important – and what was clearly demonstrated on that cold and murky Saturday morning in November – is to highlight the commitment, caring and supportive nature of their staffing team. In short, they want to help you succeed in meeting your goals.


If you’re local to Rothwell and considering starting exercise, whether your reason is health, social or competitive gain, you have some great opportunities with incredibly supportive people and that should never be undervalued. Rothwell parkrun is a weekly, timed 5k run based in Springhead Park, and Rothwell Leisure Centre is based on Wakefield Road, Oulton. Come and visit us: see what we’re about and be inspired.



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