I am a slightly drained, and weary newsletter writer today, the result of an incredible weekend at our annual parkrun conference. This year we hosted our conference in Durban and we invited all our parkrun ambassadors, regional ambassadors and key personnel to attend. As always, we got some very important work done. Several of us gave presentations to our colleagues, all of which helped us to learn more about parkrun, about how it has grown, and to assist us to strategise for the future of parkrun. There was some incredibly valuable work done while we found ourselves listening, learning, presenting and chatting. At times some tough questions were asked, and answered, about challenges we have experienced in recent months and I feel that as a group we grew with those sessions.
But the conference was also a recognition and reward weekend for our ambassadors and regional ambassadors. In many ways our ambassadors are “invisible volunteers “who are seldom acknowledged for their contribution. They are not recognised as conventional volunteers on the parkrun volunteer’s rosters but their contribution is immense. Their roles include supporting events around the country, and also supporting us at Head Office.
The ambassadors are passionate volunteers who wish to get more involved with parkrun and to take on more responsibility. If you feel you would like to support events in your region or that you have a special skill which could assist parkrun please don’t hesitate to contact us.
It was not all work and no play and our team building activities on Friday afternoon were both exhilarating and hilarious. (I would never have believed that I would willingly plummet down a terrifying and precipitous water slide for my team. I am usually terrified of heights). The team building exercise ended with a highly competitive tug-of-war. Team Orange taunted us all afterwards by wearing their team gold medals at every available opportunity.
At the conference I was delighted to announce that the parkrun Global Board has appointed Jaco Van der Walt as Chairman of the South African parkrun Board. Jaco has a wealth of experience as an advisor at International sporting events such as the Commonwealth Games and Football World Cups. For a number of years now, Jaco has been a source of invaluable advice and encouragement for so many at parkrun, both in South Africa and at a Global level. We warmly welcome his appointment.
This Saturday I will be travelling to Thabazimbi to the launch of our latest parkrun on Doornhoek Farm. Our regional ambassador Neels Gerber has been busy with the team there mapping a single lap course on the farm. Neels tells me there are a few other parkruns planned for The Limpopo Province in the near future.
I am so delighted to welcome the return of an old friend. After a 4 year hiatus, Nahoon Point parkrun will start again on Saturday on a course very similar to the one first run there.
Finally our original “home run”, Delta Park will celebrate its 400th running this Saturday. What an amazing landmark.
Cheers for now,
Just the fourth parkrun to launch in South Africa, Nahoon Point recently marked their seventh anniversary after a prolonged hiatus. Event Director John Paul Lee Sun shares more about this Eastern Cape event. When did Nahoon Point parkrun start up? Nahoon Point parkrun was launched on 11 August 2012 and became the fourth parkrun…
Marie Eyre was born with Spina Bifida, is wheelchair bound and cannot drive. I met her through church and she offered to help when she heard Pongola parkrun was short of volunteers. The first time Marie volunteered, I introduced her to a timekeeper, Andre Steyn, who took her under his wing and quickly taught her perfect…