News - 4th September 2019

Old and new friends

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Regular Melton Mowbray volunteer Nina Snowling participates in parkrun to help her manage anxiety.


She recently shared her favourite marshal point with a regular volunteer from neighbouring Market Harborough parkrun. Here she tells us about her morning with new friend, 88-year-old Austin.


The morning I met Austin at Melton Mowbray parkrun, I’d spent all week thinking about not going to parkrun that Saturday because I was feeling anxious and worried.


I got a message from the event team at Melton Mowbray parkrun saying that someone called Simon had got in touch to see if his 88-year-old Dad Austin could volunteer at our parkrun.


The team asked me if Austin could join me at my regular spot on the hill and I of course said yes. Only afterwards realising that I wasn’t even going to go originally!


My lovely friend Rachel offered to pick me up, which is a massive support. It enables me to get out of the door in the morning (sometimes one of the hardest things for me).


I met Austin, his son Simon and his wife Lucy. They were very friendly and after getting organised we set off to my hill. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit worried we had set too big of a challenge for Austin getting round to the marshal point, as it is quite bumpy and uneven.


But Austin totally proved me wrong, even with his walker he manoeuvred along happily, at times I was having to go quickly to keep up. I hope at 88 I’m still as mobile as he is. We got to my hill and stood talking for a while, we also had a selfie (just got to be done).




Austin’s parkrun journey is very similar to mine in the fact that volunteering each week helps us to get out, meet people and be part of the community. He gave me some very good advice about always trying to get out everyday, which I know helps me massively.


Soon everyone started coming past and we were clapping and encouraging everyone. We high fived so many people and had a line of high fiving at one point where other supporters joined us to cheer everyone on. We even had hugs


Honestly we had so much fun, lots of laughing. It once again reminded me of the true power of parkrun.


Once you experience it for yourself, you will understand. It truly changes people’s lives and not just the physical running/walking part of it, the mental health side of it too.


Volunteering plays such a huge part in this and I honestly don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for parkrun in the last few months. And, of course, the amazing friends it has brought into my life


I’ve been invited to Market Harborough parkrun to marshal with Austin, which I’m looking forward to.


I am so thankful for such a wonderful morning spent with friends, old and new, thank you everyone.


Nina Snowling

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