What happens when you take two really good ideas and put them together? Meyerton parkrun found out!
Idea #1 – A parkrun managed by under 18 volunteers only (with the necessary supervision by over 18’s where required)
Idea #2 – Celebrating World Play Day: “A day when generations spend time together doing what they want to do and having fun”. We encouraged parkrun participants to wear funky hats or anything that makes them feel like a playful child again!
Add a super enthusiastic Event Director, some very excited kids, hoola hoops, kick balls, a couple of dinosaurs and this is what happened…
Kids take over, what a blast! They got into the idea in a massive way, even enduring training in the preceding weeks. With minimal supervision they pulled off a fantastic parkrun. From first timer briefings and announcements, to timekeeping, barcode scanning, marshalling and funnel management, the kids were everywhere! Laughing and shouting encouragement, ensuring fun was had by all.
147 folks completed the course on a chilly autumn morning, including Master Robert Richardson (Age – “I’m nearly 5!!”) who was our official tail walker accompanied by his mom and 6 months old baby sister. The smile on his face was a thing to behold.
30 volunteers (mostly under 18) made the event possible and we cannot thank you enough! A past president of the International Toy Library Association was one of the first timers and had the following to say when asked if there was a synergy between parkrun and World Play Day:
“Absolutely. A parkrun is not necessarily playful. But the hats, the children’s organizational participation and the playful mock sword fighting, hoola hoops, balls, ring toss allowed everyone to choose what they felt like playing – the essence of free, self-directed play”
It was thanks to Event Directors Roland du Plessis and Desmond Richardson for having the vision to see the possibilities and to Cynthia Morrison, play ambassador and World Play Day champion for many years. You are an inspiration.
We hope that this concept is embraced by more parkruns all over the world to encourage children to volunteer and adults to have more fun!
I love greeting everyone when I volunteer at parkrun. When I do timekeeping, I encourage everyone to “finish strong” and when I barcode scan I always ask how the run was. I’m sometimes a bit slow on the scanning but I want every participant to feel valued and let them know how friendly parkrun is!…
Ruimsig parkrun in Gauteng joined the parkrun family in September 2018. In the first year 9,000 different people completed the course, covering 175,000km! Adele Enslin, Event Director at Ruimsig tells us more: How did Ruimsig parkrun come about? We moved to Stubensvalley from Secunda in April 2018 & some parkrun tourist friends mentioned to me…