My name is Craig and I am the volunteer Event Director of Darwin parkrun and a member of the Australian Army Reserves. As someone who was born and bred in Darwin and loves to be active and helpful in my community, parkrun and the Reserves tick both boxes!
My parkrun journey started when a mate dragged me along. I played field hockey in the dry season but would always get unfit in the off season and knew I needed to do something about that. Initially taking part as a runner, I soon got swept up in the event and started volunteering and then eventually became the Event Director. When I first started parkrun back in 2014 there was only one event in Darwin but now there are three to choose from.
There are heaps of opportunities to become a Reservist in the Navy, Army or Air Force in Australia and I signed up in late 2019. The Australian Defence Force recruitment process makes it really easy to get involved.
Being a Reservist was a whole new experience to me. Our role is to carry out a wide variety of operations to help the country, from assisting with the bushire effort to border assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. We learn first aid, do fitness training and have a great sense of mateship.
The skills and confidence gained from being a parkrun volunteer, and that of being a Reservist, have lots of crossover.
We have lots of military personnel taking part in the parkruns up here in Darwin. Often we meet parkrunners who have been posted somewhere that doesn’t have a parkrun, so when they find themselves in Darwin they jump at the chance to take part. It’s also common to see a minibus with a dozen or so Navy personnel from the nearby naval base arrive at parkrun and then promptly disappear after breakfast with military precision!
Being involved with parkrun Australia and the Australian Army Reserves is a tremendous honour, and the people I meet and the skills I learn are incredibly valuable in all aspects of my life.
We took another big step forward last Saturday as 5k events returned in Denmark, the ninth country to see events restart post-COVID, plus we welcomed back junior parkrun events in Scotland. In total nearly 60,000 people took part in 775 events around the world last weekend, including nearly 2,500 for the very first time….
With the restart of 72 events in Poland, last weekend saw the most parkrun events take place globally since the pandemic began last March. Nearly 66,000 individuals participated at one of 768 events across eight countries. Every event that restarts represents a huge step forward and should give all of us great reassurance and…