Gold medal-winning Ellie Robinson joins Northampton parkrun

#teamparkrun saw 100 of UK Sports National Lottery funded Olympic and Paralympic athletes involved in 5km parkrun events across the country.
#teamparkrun saw 100 of UK Sports National Lottery funded Olympic and Paralympic athletes involved in 5km parkrun events across the country.

Paralympic gold medal swimmer Ellie Robinson enjoyed a different sort of sporting thrill on Saturday when she joined a Northampton parkrun as part of a nationwide initiative.

Following on from the UK’s biggest ever sports participation event I Am Team GB, #teamparkrun saw 100 of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded Olympic and Paralympic athletes involved in 5km parkrun events across the country.

And British swimmer Robinson laced up her running shoes and headed down to Northampton, joining her fellow athletes in showing their thanks for all the support they receive from the public, through The National Lottery.

Instead of leading from the front, Robinson instead took on the role of a tail walker, ensuring she, like the other athletes, brought up the rear in last place.

And while a variation on the pool, Robinson admitted she had loved every minute at Northampton Racecourse as hundreds of people turned out for the event.

"It was really good to see so many people, there was around 500 and I had no clue that many people would come so when I saw the crowd I was very happy,” she said.

"I was so happy to see so many involved, because we need more people to become active and sporty.

"If one person does it, then hopefully it will inspire others and that is what it was about. It is a great event and I am very happy to have taken part, the atmosphere was buzzing and there were a lot of people doing it for the first time which made it even better.

“I had a great reception from everyone there, it is nice to see everyone still being so kind to me and asking for photos and autographs.

“It is a year now since Rio and people are still looking out for us Paralympians.

“A lot of the time we get forgotten about after it a bit, and so it is nice people are still interested in para sport, follow us and support us.”

Parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9am in England and Wales and 9.30am in Scotland and Northern Ireland and offers a free and easy way to take your first steps into becoming more active.

Two-time Paralympic medallist Robinson knows more than most the importance of staying active and her swimming career has produced medals and special memories aplenty.

And knowing the sacrifices she also had to make, the 15-year-old admits she will always be indebted to those who supported her on her journey to the top.

"I wanted to do it because it is all about getting people back in sport, and giving back to the Lottery,” she added.

"Without their funding, us athletes would not have achieved what we have in our careers so it was a great chance to say thank you and show how grateful I am for everything they do.

“UK Sport do so much for us and the lottery is a big part of that. This was about giving something back to the people who have helped us, and hopefully we have helped them achieve something out on the course.”

The National Lottery players have been supporting sport since the very beginning. From thousands of community sports and fitness projects, right through to elite training and a whopping 848 Olympic and Paralympic medals - by playing, you’ve made it all possible.