The world-renowned and rapidly growing parkrun movement is set to hit Athlone.The inaugural Bridgetown Parkrun will take place at Nantes Park this Saturday at 08:00.The event is aimed at everyone who is willing to change to or continue a healthy lifestyle. The course will wind its way around Nantes Park and will be timed. Caroline Peters, event organiser and founder of the Nantes Athletics Club, says that participants need not even run if they don’t want to, because the event is about strengthening bonds among community members and is not rooted in competitiveness.“For me to bring Parkrun to Bridgetown or the wider Athlone community, it is about changing lifestyles, bringing something positive to the community, instead of people saying ‘our children are all into drugs, bring something to the children for them to do’,” she says.Even for those who are familiar with parkruns around the city, Nantes Park will offer something different, while also serving as an ideal training opportunity for athletes.“If you can’t run, you can walk. The boys are busy with athletics at school now, so they can come and do their time trials at the parkrun. For the people who just want to start changing their lifestyles; come run and come walk,” says Peters.Nantes Park has grown to become an integral part of Athlone in recent years and the establishment of various athletics clubs in the area have transformed it from a once notorious place to a place of refuge. Peters says the parkrun adds to this.“We see the parkrun as an integral part of Nantes Park. We have been visiting parkruns over the last few months, because this is what we wanted to bring to our community,” she adds. Peters says that although they are only starting out, they hope to instil a culture whereby the entire family will join in the festivities and add their own, local flavour to the event. Almost 10 000 parkruns take place at 92 parks throughout South Africa.“We are not a Meerendal wine estate that has a nice restaurant and play area, but that is the culture that we want to create in our area. It is a space where people can come and relax and just be safe. I think that Nantes is so ideally situated slap-bang in the middle of Bridgetown, Silvertown, Kewtown and Parktown. It is about changing cultures, changing lifestyles.” V The Bridgetown Parkrun will take place at Nantes Park every Saturday at 08:00 . There will be a timed parkrun. Call Caroline Peters on 073 029 7879 or like the page Bridgetown Parkrun on Facebook.