Why I love volunteering at Parkrun

On any given Saturday you’ll be sure to find our recent Tea Tree Gully Library work experience student Erica volunteering at one of Adelaide’s many Parkrun events. She tells us why below.

Hi! My name is Erica and I have spent one week at the Tea Tree Gully Library completing my work experience placement.

When work experience was first mentioned at my school, the library was the first place that came to mind when thinking of where I wanted to go. I absolutely love literature and reading (even though I’m incredibly slow), and I thought working behind the scenes would help me to develop certain skills and give me an insight as to what having a job is like – and it did!

But not only do I love reading, I also enjoy volunteering. I just love being able to go out into the community and spend my time helping so many different people for so many different reasons.

I have volunteered at several places and events (and I will be looking into volunteering at the Tea Tree Gully Library – which I highly recommend), but by far one of my favourite events to volunteer at is Parkrun.

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My mum and I at the Parkrun event in Mawson Lakes

Now you might be thinking, “What on earth is Parkrun?” Well, I’m glad you asked!
Parkrun is a weekly 5km running event, in which people of all ages are allowed to participate. It begins every Saturday morning at 8am, and you are able to walk or run as slow or as fast as you would like (it’s not a race, so there’s no need to feel pressure to rush).

There are so many different people who participate in Parkrun, so you should never feel intimidated or out of place. Athletic people do attend of course, but so do large families, small children, women with prams, and some older people (and there’s never a shortage of dogs, either).

Another aspect of Parkrun I love is the vast amount of locations you’re able to go to. I personally visit the Mawson Lakes Parkrun often as it’s close to my home, but Tea Tree Gully has its own Parkrun, too! It’s located at the Jubilee Community Centre, and participants have to complete one full lap around a park. It’s a great event, and I highly recommend attending.

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No matter the weather,  nothing can stop my mum and I from volunteering at Parkrun!

If you’re interested in taking part in Parkrun, you can register and find more information here Best of all, it’s free!

Once you’ve registered for Parkrun, you can also sign up to volunteer! There are so many different jobs you can volunteer for, too. My favourite job is the Tail Walker, because I am able to help out whilst completing the walk at the same time. As Tail Walker you need to stay at the very back of all of the runners, so the other volunteers know who the final person is to cross the finish line.

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Sometimes I run the Parkrun course, instead of volunteering – here’s me about to hit the finish line.

After each event all of the volunteers group together for a photo, and meet at a nearby cafe or coffee van for a free drink of their choice!

You can also volunteer to be a marshal, a barcode scanner, a timekeeper, a photographer, or finish token support. All of these roles help to support Parkrun, and without them the event wouldn’t be able to take place. So once again, I highly recommend signing up to help out.

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