On Saturday parkrun South Africa celebrated its 7th birthday and parkruns all around the country marked the occasion with celebrations and applause.
At Delta Park, where it all began, there was an extra special celebration where our sponsors, Vitality set up a Vitality Open gym for parkrunners to enjoy and a brass band played “happy birthday” as over 1,600 eager participants sang along.
It has been a truly momentous first 7 years as our numbers have grown from 26 registered parkrunners running at one parkrun, Delta, to over 930,000 at over 170 parkrun venues. It is quite sobering to wonder where we may be in another 7 years.
As we have so often stated the most important people at parkrun are the volunteers. They are the lifeblood of parkrun. That is why we have always believed that the most significant milestone shirt at any parkrun is the purple 25 “volunteer” shirt. As amazing as our volunteers are, we do lag behind some of the other parkrun territories on the percentages of those runners who volunteer at parkrun (4.6% of our registered members have volunteered whereas that figure is 10% for Australia and 12% for the UK). We can definitely improve on our volunteer statistics, so we would like to encourage as many parkrunners as possible to give back to their parkrun communities by volunteering from time to time. Please opt in to results email to volunteer or let the volunteers at the event know that you would like to help.
From time to time we like to feature a volunteer in this newsletter. In this newsletter we introduce Madelene Loots who is originally from Kimberley parkrun.
Sand River parkrun joined the South African parkrun family on Saturday. Having launched on the South African parkrun birthday this new parkrun in Virginia in the Free State won’t forget its birthday easily. This testing course around the Sand River Golf course is tough, but lots of fun. Congratulations to Jules Fenn and Sharon Haddow for organising a very smooth inaugural run. It was great to see so many locals joining in and with 230 finishers this parkrun has had an auspicious start.
It is interesting to note how many parkuns in South Africa are being run on golf courses. It seems that in many towns the local golf course is more suitable than the park for a parkrun venue.
It has been a while since we started our first Soweto parkrun at Mofolo Park in 2015. After a slow start Mofolo established itself as a firm favourite of both locals and visitors alike and the time is right to start a second Soweto parkrun. It was decided to start the second Soweto parkrun at Mapetla Park in Protea North. Under the guidance of Soweto parkrun Ambassador, Wesley Banda, event directors Lwandile Phaledi, and Tshepo Pilane have created a fast flat two lap parkrun which is run on paths and around fields.
Just a reminder to parkrunners that some parkruns host extra runs on Christmas morning and on New Year’s day. In fact at New Year’s day it is possible to run two parkruns and be credited with both. parkrun organisers stagger their starting times to make this possible. For a list of those parkruns participating in these extra runs please go to www.parkrun.co.za/special-events/
Cheers for now,
Welcome to this month’s volunteer update. Here is some of the key information for the coming period: 1. Important changes to event email accounts. 2. Embedding photographs in event news items. 3. Press and media. 4. Social media. 5. Recruiting volunteers. 6. Cancelling events. 7. Tail walkers. 8. Printed barcodes only. 1….
If ever proof were needed that parkrun really can make a difference in a community the launch of Mountain Drive parkrun in Graaff Reinet last Saturday provided it. With close to 300 registrations the enthusiasm for parkrun was obvious on the Saturday morning when dozens of excited first timers and volunteers arrived to run the…