Emmie Bijzet, an 83 year old great-grandmother from Brackenfell, became the first woman in her age category to complete 100 parkruns at Bellville parkrun.
She started parkrunning in August 2016, encouraged to participate by her children. Emmie was very close to her 100th parkrun when lockdown started in March 2020. When Bellville parkrun re-opened on 12 February 2022, she was back and determined to reach her goal!
What makes this achievement so remarkable is that Emmie suffered from multiple sclerosis in the 80’s and 90’s. Currently this is in remission, but she also suffers from osteoporosis and has undergone back and shoulder operations. She walks with a walking stick to support her back and had high blood pressure, but says that this is completely under control since she has started walking. She also walks a further 3k to 4k four times a week. She enjoys parkrun and says the volunteers are very friendly and helpful. She loves encouraging others to walk, as a great way to improve their health.
Her story, and courage to continue walking, also inspired a Bellville parkrun volunteer, who emigrated to South Korea with her family in 2021, Wendy van Wyk, to motivate learners in their school to walk with Emmie while she did her 100th parkrun. Their fun walk took place at 3pm in South Korea, at the same time Emmie was walking at 8am in South Africa, and they made a video of encouragement to Emmie when they were done!
Emmie is a great inspiration to many other parkrunners and a true testament that parkrun is for everyone!
Desiree Barnett is relishing her volunteering role as parkwalker. It affords her the opportunity to laugh and chat with other parkwalkers, provide encouragement where needed and complete her own 5k each Saturday. What an awesome experience I had this morning, to once again see so many happy and eager people raring to take on…
As parkrun continues to grow around the world, we are committed to breaking down barriers to participation in regular physical activity and bringing communities together. Communication plays a vital part in what we do, and we are looking to expand our range of non-English language content. To help us do so, we have created the voluntary…