parkrun founder Paul Sinton Hewitt deserves what?

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Well, Paul Sinton-Hewitt (PSH) gets my vote for an OBE or maybe even a knighthood. Certainly a candidate for the ‘unsung hero’ award in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award 2014 when that award opens for nominations later in the year.

In 2004, 13 people ambled around Bushy Park.

Soon, more than 400,000 people will have taken part in the parkrun phenomena (760,000 registered globally by Jan 2014). He and it, parkrun, must surely have provided the best health return per pound of investment on the basis that much, if not all, of the start up cost is presumably covered by sponsors with involvement of local governments (and other landowners) to gain free access to parks.

In 2009, Runner’s World presented him with the ‘Heroes of Running’ award for philanthropy and for his work with parkrun. Then, in 2013, PSH was presented with the London Borough of “Richmond Community Award” by Conservative politician Cllr Nicholas Edward True, Baron True. 

FYI: Bushy Park’s parkrun is in the constituency of Liberal Democrat politician, The Right Honourable Dr (John) Vincent Cable MP.

Wythenshawe Parkrun, 13/08/24
Photo credit: dj12lee

An edit a few days later: I am really humbled…this is my best ever viewed page in a day. Maybe it shows that we get more back when we try to do something for others? Kind of like parkrun really? Anyway VOTE below and please re-tweet or do something similar (you know how it works)!

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I can appreciate your argument given the impact but I prefer people to remain unsung heroes(heroines). The honours system is a class -based system. Also there are many unsung heroes in the NHS.


Go ahead and nominate the unsung heroes then 🙂

tfk, the5krunner

That will require a little more effort. But i will ! thanks for the link.


Looks like knighthood is probably appropriate, although possible CBE. However, the nominee doesn’t get to choose which award, the honours committee do.

Isn’t PSH South African though?

tfk, the5krunner

Eeesh i hadn’t thought of that. The best laid plans of mice and me


There are honorary knighthoods for non British, you just can’t call them “Sir”. Let me know if you plan to do it, and I’ll try to make some time to help draft the nomination 🙂

tfk, the5krunner

looks like we got a cbe

tina potter

He has done more to promote the participation of women and girls in sport than any one else, ever, i imagine. That alone certainly deserves recognition. I dont know the actual demographic of parkrun but it looks balanced to me which is defo not the norm. Only 5% of sports media coverage features women. For every 53 articles written about sporting men, there is one about a woman. Women’s sport receives only 0.5% of the total sponsorship income into sport (men get 62.1%)

tfk, the5krunner


David Hollinshead

Sports Personally of The Year? would be nice? a bit mainstream?…Probably mean more than a Knighthood?

Everyone tries to win stuff and when they do they get meddles or trophies or whatever. It seems that whoever gets the most wins trphies and meadles gets nominated for BBC sports personality of the year… would be nice for a change to recognise a personality that that has actually contributed to sport in the Coubertin sense rather than someone that has been most visibly “successful”.

tfk, the5krunner

Great idea!

Joe Ellis, Graves parkrun

Unsung hero has credibility. Who are the honours committee? Don’t tell me – Tory influenced when Tory’s are in; Labour influenced when Labourites are in. Steer well clear of the lot of them. Can’t you just hear a future minister boasting “Honoured by us in 2014” – a pox on all their houses. – The Pirate


Actually, Tina Potter isn’t right about the male-female ratio at parkrun: it’s around two-thirds male. However, it’s good that the point is made – or at least implied – about inclusion and encouragement for women athletes. Parkrun provides an excellent training ground for runners of all abilities. It has transformed people’s lives, without a doubt. Paul S-H’s award, announced today, is well-deserved and – in my opinion – overdue. There are many people running in parks on Saturday mornings, joining clubs, training for charity runs and marathons, feeling fitter and lighter, who have a lot to thank him for.