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Vitality and Sky explore the ‘power of parkrun’ with Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill

Ten inspirational first-hand accounts of people who have used running to support them through difficult or challenging times

Ten inspirational first-hand accounts of people who have used running to support them through difficult or challenging times in their lives are being shared in an original film series as part of a new partnership between Vitality and Sky Media.

The series ‘Jessica’s parkrun Heroes’, which is presented by Vitality ambassador and Olympic Gold Medal winner, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, features ten films about ten individuals who, by taking part in parkrun – a free 5k event that takes place in open spaces globally every Saturday – have transformed their lives and found themselves better able to manage their health conditions or improve their health.

The short films will run On Demand from 22 April and on Sky Sports Mix from 13 May, with Sky Media promoting the content over ‘top picks’ – the highly sought-after promotional spot. Vitality will also have a supporting TVC, produced by Sky Sports and Diagonal View, that will go out across Sky Media channels for three weeks from the 22nd April. Activity across both Vitality and parkrun will encourage viewers to watch the content on Sky On Demand. The campaign will run in line of the with the highest numbers of parkrun participation in the Spring.

Each short film focuses on how parkrun, and the inclusivity and community found within it, has helped the individual through adversity or a difficult time in their life. The personal stories are all unique, with accounts including weight loss, anxiety and depression, losing a loved one, Parkinson’s and cancer diagnosis. Within the series some of the people featured claim that the support they found at parkrun saved their life.

Katie West, Branded Content Controller at Sky Media, said, “Sky is delighted to work with Vitality to bring these moving parkrun stories to life with content led, branded content that we believe will be informative and inspirational for our customers as well as enhancing Vitality’s position as a health insurance business invested in wellbeing.”

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill said: “parkrun is global phenomenon and the stories that feature here tell the accounts of 10 ordinary parkrunners who have achieved extraordinary things. I have always got so much out of sport and to hear first-hand how other people have got such positive experiences out of taking part in parkrun and the community they found within it, has been a real honour. Encouraging more people to get active is incredibly important to me and I hope people will find these stories inspiring and get themselves down to their local park and try parkrun.”

Nick Read, VitalityHealth, said, “parkrun is a fantastic initiative that brings 1000s of people together every week to get more active and walk, jog or run 5k. Its popularity across the country shows what a success it is and we have found within it so many truly inspirational stories. We’re delighted to be working with both Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill and Sky Media to show the power of these stories and the importance of everyone getting more active and feeling healthier.”

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