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.
Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No. It was six very special guests completing their first 5k after life changing spinal injuries. Event Director Jo tells us about the incredible morning at parkrun. As we gathered at the start, there was something in the air. Something special was about to happen…
Almost 2,500 events held, over 23,000 unique participants with nearly 100,000 completed parkruns and more than 23,000 instances of volunteering. In just four years. This Saturday parkrun Germany celebrates its fourth anniversary! What better reason to take a closer look at the country with the record for the most number of events started in their first…