X,Y,Z and A

14 12 2015

As the volunteer coordinator at Brighton parkrun I’ve been experimenting with an ‘ABC’ volunteering system. By choosing a different letter each week, runners get 3 prompts to volunteer during a calendar year – it’s more of a nudge than anything  and it means we don’t get swamped one week and bereft of help the next. This coming Saturday marks the end of the first year with X,Y,Z and A surnames taking up the many and varied volunteer roles.

If you’ve never heard of parkrun, I urge you to look it up and then take part. It’s free and requires the minimal of effort to comply with the ‘admin’. All you need to bring, other than yourself and running gear, is a printed barcode. That little barcode acts as your lifetime parkrun ID and it will enable your results to be recorded at any one of 376* events – worldwide! (*as of 14/12/15) One of the first things I remember when I joined parkrun was the amazingly friendly briefing at the start:  a welcome for parkrun ‘tourists’, applause for first timers, cheers the volunteers and so on.

With parkrun growing at a pace, you might wonder how it can be sustained if the event is totally free to runners. Two things: sponsors and volunteers. The volunteers are mostly runners who give their time to volunteer in the staging of a weekly event.

There are times when we are a bit short of help but when you consider that in 8 years (it was our 8th birthday in November 2015!) we’ve held 426 parkruns at Hove park – there’s been a huge amount of commitment from our running community and management team. I can’t think of many other sporting events that have kept going without a break for that long – every Saturday!










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