News - 24th March 2021

Erno loves volunteering


Erno van Alphen has volunteered 100 times at Sandon Point parkrun. The Dutchman, born in Oujda Morocco, loves playing violin, woodcraft, basketball, reading, creating, and socialising – especially at parkrun.


Before initially becoming involved in volunteering at parkrun, Erno used to enjoy a coffee and read his book in Bulli Beach Cafe, while Marie Louise (his wife) ran parkrun. He started volunteering when his daughter, then 12-year-old Suzanne, began as a parkrun volunteer; to support her, he signed up too. Since then, Erno volunteers while Marie Louise runs, and Suzanne either runs or volunteers (Suzanne has almost 80 volunteer stints herself!). Even the family dog, Lucy, participates in parkrun.


Erno loves the parkrun community because he did a lot of sport in his younger days; swimming, running, basketball and tennis, just to name a few. He still plays basketball today.


Erno came to Australia four years ago, because he wanted a lifestyle change after his retirement. He is a busy and multi-talented person. Although he worked in the Netherlands as an econometrist, he is now building a tiny house in the family’s backyard for another of his daughters and her fiancé; plays the violin in the Wollongong Conservatorium’s Community Orchestra, the Con Artists, and is a member of a Klezmer band; loves skiing and enjoys a hike; and is also an excellent cook and barista.


Erno loves to volunteer at parkrun because he enjoys helping, meeting people with different backgrounds and making a difference to other people’s lives.


From the Sandon Point parkrun event team:

Erno epitomises what parkrun is about – participation in all its forms. Even with 100 volunteer occasions under his belt, you can still count the number of parkruns Erno has done on two hands, and seven of those were volunteering as tail walker. Erno is incredibly reliable, and most commonly found near the finish line with stopwatch or finish tokens in hand. We love that although Erno doesn’t run, he has found a place in this community and a great way to spend Saturday mornings with his wife and youngest daughter, and of course his adopted, extended parkrun family.

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