Northparkes Oval parkrun might be a brand new event, but it is already a resounding success. With a supportive local community and growing attendance each week, the event is going from strength to strength.
Launching in February this year, the event boasts an almost full roster for the next two months, and it’s been like that since day one.
Event Director Ronel Van Wyk said the people of Parkes loved to help. “People are happy to have this wonderful activity on a Saturday morning. We are a very close-knit community. The people here just want to help. Many say they prefer volunteering to running,” Ronel said.
Ronel and her family moved to Australia from South Africa three years ago, where Jeffreys Bay parkrun was their home event. When they arrived on Australian soil, naturally they looked for an event close by. And there wasn’t one. The closest was Orange about an hour and 10 minutes away and Dubbo, an hour and a half away.
“When we came over, I was really disappointed Parkes didn’t have a parkrun. I contacted parkrun head office about starting one and got overwhelmed and thought I’d need support. Then I met someone at church who said they were also looking to start a parkrun in Parkes so away we went,” Ronel said.
Ronel said since launching, the roster was overflowing. There are lots of easy and accessible opportunities every week for anyone to get involved and the community is loving volunteering at parkrun and she was loving the willingness of the community to get involved.
She said many on the roster were new to parkrun while others had stopped travelling to Orange or Dubbo and were now calling Northparkes Oval parkrun home. Ronel said there had even been tourists willing to put on a high vis vest.
Ronel said the roster was full of people of all ages and from all walks of life. Being the Event Director hasn’t stopped her scanning her barcode some weeks, – her partner will volunteer or walk with the kids if she wants a run.
Ronel said volunteering was a great way to be involved with parkrun and we welcome anyone to come join us to lend a hand.
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