News - May 27, 2021

How parkrun helped me with public speaking


Leon Bradley is a regular at parkrun, having completed 259 parkruns and volunteered on 124 occasions. He shares more about how parkrun has helped him learn new skills.


After six years of parkrun, there’s much to write; my own development, as a man in his 70s, has been significant, to say the least:


Five years ago, I started volunteering at Golden Harvest, where I met many like-minded volunteers and a huge number of participants, both regulars and ‘tourists’. Many became good friends and encouraged me to take on the role of Run Director. As with all stutterers, I had a fear of talking to groups or in public, let alone to several hundred parkrunners, all watching me!


However, with encouragement from my volunteer friends, I gave it a try. For me, it was a game-changer; I found that if I speak in rhyme or with rhythm, I don’t stutter. I have so far managed to be RD on 41 occasions, each event was great fun and a minor personal achievement for me.


parkrun is good for so many people in so many different ways, not just keeping fit; the gentle social contact, the motivation of each other and the opportunity to give, is unique.


It is sad that we can’t volunteer at parkrun at this time; volunteering means to give of yourself with no expectation of reward, the experts tell us some of the advantages of volunteering are:


  • Learning new skills
  • Expanding social relationships
  • Developing leadership skills
  • Provides a sense of purpose and usefulness
  • Gives new knowledge
  • Grows a sense of citizenship
  • Increases enthusiasm
  • You have fun!


I look forward to parkrun resuming, and to renewing my friendship with so many people.


Leon Bradley

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