I'VE never met the man, to my knowledge I've met never anyone who has met the man, and I don't know what he has done in the rest of his life.

But as far as I'm concerned Paul Sinton-Hewitt should be knighted.

Don't know the name? Probably not, but you will almost certainly know someone whom he has affected in a positive way.

Mr Sinton-Hewitt is the founder of parkrun, a running phenomenon which began on October 2, 2004 at Bushy Park in London.

His idea was to get people off the couch and up and running 5k in a local park on Saturday mornings.

It's fair to say his idea took off.

From 13 people on that first day in Bushy Park there are now more than 200,000 doing a parkrun somewhere around the world every Saturday morning.

More than a million people have run one either on one of the 568 courses around Britain or more than 1,000 others in 19 countries around the world.

His idea is, like all the good ones, simple. Just turn up and run.

There is nothing to pay, nothing to know and nothing to do but join the hundreds of others at the starting point and run when they run.

Volunteers do all the work and make sure you get round the course safely and your run is timed.

I was bitten by the parkrun bug in the first year of its existence in Bolton where it takes place at Leverhulme Park at 9am every Saturday morning.

That was in 2011 and this morning I will be doing my 300th Bolton parkrun with my wife who is slightly ahead of me both in terms of number of runs (it will be her 308th) and often in finishing position.

I am grateful for what parkrun does for me, giving me an organised exercise which is good for me and I enjoy.

It is not just exercise that parkrun provides though, but a community where people meet and friends are made.

My wife will tell you the social side is as appealing as the exercise, probably more so, and watching how many of the two to three hundred runners stay behind on the track at Leverhulme Park for a chat it seems that way for a lot of people.

I am in awe of many things about parkrun, but my favourite moment of the week is watching those that come in after I've finished my usual 26 minutes-odd run.

A hundred, maybe two, people make their way off the footpath and on to the track where they complete their run.

That's when you see what parkrun is all about – people of all ages, shapes, sizes and running abilities completing 3.1 miles.

And in a few weeks' time 10,000 different people will have done the Bolton parkrun.

A great many of these people, like me, probably would never run, or do any exercise at all, if it wasn't for parkrun.

That, in a nutshell, is the essence of what Mr Sinton-Hewitt has achieved.

The benefits for us parkrunners are enormous. The sense of achievement at completing 5k remains as great after 299 runs as it does after the first.

The pleasure of making new friends and enjoying their company and conversation, not to mention the benefits to this and other nation's health, are enormous.

Mr Sinton-Hewitt was awarded a CBE in 2014 and as his baby continues to grow so does his legacy.

There are many people whose inspiring achievements in sport are recognised with knighthoods.

But does winning an Olympic medal or a football World Cup mean more than Mr Sinton-Hewitt's contribution to society with parkrun?

I think not, so I for one will look forward to the day when 'arise Sir Paul Sinton-Hewitt' is spoken.