Bernie O’Regan has volunteered more than 60 times at parkrun and loves it. Here she tells us what it means to her, and why everyone should give it a go.
I started volunteering at parkrun in early 2015, when my friend Siobhan Kearney, our Event Director, asked if I’d like to help out with our inaugural event in Tralee.
My first volunteering role was a marshal and as I’m not a runner, I thought I’d feel a little bit of a ‘fraud’ marshalling everyone. However, I managed it and our inaugural event was a great success and has gone from strength to strength, and Tralee parkrun recently celebrated its 7th birthday.
I have now volunteered 60 times in total and walked five times (something I must do more of)! My favourite volunteering role is Barcode Scanning but I also enjoy the photography and communications roles.
It is lovely meeting all the parkrunners, cheering them on and congratulating them especially when they achieve a personal best. I also enjoy the cup of tea/coffee afterwards and the chat and laugh of course.
There is a great sense of community with parkrun and I am sure it is a lifeline for many. I have made lots of new friends and always come away feeling in the better of getting out of bed early on a Saturday morning. It sets you up for the day!
We have some great people/characters at Tralee parkrun – Pat, ‘Mr parkrun’ himself, Tony who can do just about anything, Mohamed likewise, Johnny who you just have to take with a pinch of salt, a bit like Colm and Billy! Frances, Majella, Caroline, Bridget, Maeve, Mary, Josie and of course our Event Director, Siobhan.
There are many more lovely people I have had the pleasure of meeting through parkrun volunteering. I would encourage anyone to get involved, it will only add positivity to your day and enrich your life overall.
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