During the week we passed another significant milestone in the short but eventful life of parkrun Australia, with our 500,000th member registering!
We have been eagerly watching this landmark get nearer and nearer in recent months so to finally get there is no mean feat and is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the journey so far; enjoy our present position as the largest provider of free, regular physical activity opportunities in the country; and hypothesise about the opportunities the future may present us.
Milestones like this are also a timely reminder of the hard work and dedication of the countless volunteers who have made contributions, large and small, to parkrun Australia since our launch at Main Beach on the Gold Coast back in April 2011. Our volunteers fill such a variety of roles within our organisation, from our very visible Event and Run Directors (well over 1,000), our Ambassadors who act as support / mentors (approx 50), our regular event volunteers (over 2,000 each week) and our less visible, but vital, online runner support team (thanks Pam and Andrea) and management committee. The level of impact our volunteers have on parkrun and thus on Australian communities is simply unparalleled.
I regularly have to pinch myself when I consider just how amazing and important parkrun has become in Australia in a mere six years. It is no exaggeration to say that my life has changed for the better in so many ways; from having friendly faces greet me in towns and cities all over Australia to the fact that running has become such a staple in my weekly training schedule (although I haven’t actually parkrun PBed since 2012!!!). But as the cliche goes… we’ve only just begun.
Looking at current growth rates we’ll most likely double in size in a bit over two years time from now. We should tick over 1 million registered Aussie parkrunners just in time for Christmas 2020! However, the next 500,000 might look a little different to the first half-a-mil. What do I mean by that?
Our agenda moving forward is twofold:
My good mate, and our Chief Operating Officer of parkrun Global, Tom Williams, was recently quoted as saying
“to make a bigger impact we simply have to work that little bit harder.”
The staff and I have taken this on board and are working hard every single day to ensure parkrun continues to thrive in this country. With your continued support we can ensure the legacy we all leave will last generations and help to make Australia a healthier and happier country.
parkrun Australia CEO and Airlie Beach parkrunner
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