She may have an Olympic silver medal to her name, but trampolinist Bryony Page will be at the back of the race when she takes part in Rotherham parkrun this Saturday.
Rather than experiencing a dramatic loss in fitness, the 26-year-old will actually be participating in UK Sport’s #teamparkrun event, acting as the ‘tail walker’, to ensure that – as is the parkrun ethos – no-one finishes last.
On August 19th, UK Sport is encouraging National Lottery funded athletes to follow Page’s lead and be a tail walker at their local parkrun as a way of saying thank you to the millions of people who play the National Lottery each week and, in doing so, help fund elite sport in the UK.
Page, who will begin the weekly 5km run at the town's Clifton Park at 9am, highlighted the difference funding has made to elite sport in the UK.
“I was at the World Athletics Championship on Sunday and in the Hero Village publicising it there, handing out little clappers and flags,” she said.
“I want to be able to help promote the initiative of getting more people active and taking part in different sports.
“And parkruns are really great ways to be able to do that in a supportive environment.
“I feel like my role will be to cheer people on and giving back to those that have supported us, and myself, through the National Lottery.
“I’m able to be a full-time athlete through UK Sport National Lottery funding, and there are so many other athletes in the same boat as me, so this is a great way to be able to promote an active, healthy lifestyle, but also to say thanks to everyone that has supported us and the initiative.”
Parkrun is a nationwide network of organised, free, 5km timed runs that take place every Saturday morning and encourage anyone, of any ability, to get active – with a volunteer tail walker, such as Page at the rear to ensure no-one finishes last.
And Page, who hopes to embark on more parkruns once her trampolining career is over, cannot wait to get going on Saturday.
“I’ve actually never been to a parkrun before. I’ve done charity cycle events, one in Sheffield a few years now,” she added.
“But running, for me, doesn’t go well with my training, unfortunately, with the extra load on my joints.
“But I think that after I’ve retired from trampolining it’s definitely something I’ll be able to do.”
To thank the public for their support through playing The National Lottery, Britain’s top athletes will volunteer as 'tail walkers' at parkrun events across the UK on Saturday August 19th. Everyone is welcome at parkrun - be part of it! www.teamparkrun.com