Volunteering Matters – January 2017

Happy New Year to everyone involved with Chichester parkrun including anyone thinking of trying parkrun for the first time - everyone is welcome no matter previous experience or ability.


Personally I hope that we can attract many more beginners into parkrun this year. Last year 1748 different people ran at Chichester parkrun (averaging about 134 per event) - this shows how our local parkrun has become successfully established but looking to the future I do wonder how things could potentially progress. We have all heard about our generally poor health as a nation and I expect that most of you see parkrun as a great way of addressing this problem. However, although we now have a successful parkrun in Chichester I suggest that we have only engaged with a small proportion of the 30,000 people in our catchment area. Locally most active runners are aware of or involved in parkrun but what about the other 28,000 or so others ? Food for thought ?


Looking back on 2016 we successfully filled a total of 804 volunteer positions which meant that we averaged 14 volunteers per week. We should be very proud that we consistently managed to field a "full team" and increasingly we have succeeded in our aim of starting each "parkrun week" with the roster already in good shape. In 2016, 185 people volunteered at Chichester. Viewed as a proportion of the total of 1748 people who ran you can see that there is still plenty of scope to enlarge our volunteer base.  


January is when we find ourselves facing all those things that we decided to leave until after Christmas. Do you make a Things to Do List ? I admit that I often do this but rarely follow up and tend to rely upon my conscience to stir me into last minute action.  Sometimes though we overspend or "over-exert" ourselves over Christmas so a fast start to the New Year takes a real effort. A few days ago I thought we might be seeing something of this "post-Xmas" symptom; however, the January Roster has now started to fill up quite nicely so hopefully we will soon be repeating the FANTASTIC December volunteering effort with the roster almost full from the beginning of the month.


Having already passed the shortest day of winter the "glass half-full" among you might already be tentatively starting to think about getting through the next few weeks of winter and anticipating the start of Spring. After an injury plagued 2016 when I volunteered more often than I actually ran I am mentally "wiping the slate clean" and hoping for some good running in 2017. It was parkrun that got me started in running and it is parkrun that still motivates me to continue. Volunteering on a regular basis has kept me in touch with my parkrun friends and given me the appetite to get back. I find the concept of Age Grading a useful motivator and as a new member of the VM70 group I am looking forward to seeing how I compare with a new bunch of contemporaries. 


I imagine that with your generally positive attitudes most of you will be thinking about your challenges for 2017. For many of us parkrun has given us the base from which we can now participate in longer events and achieve things that we previously never even considered to be possible. I know that parkrun often acts as a trigger to re-awaken dormant instincts to be involved with and support others and personally I have discovered that not only running but also volunteering create that feelgood factor - so if you want to feel REALLY good in 2017 get running AND GET VOLUNTEERING !
One final point. Please remember that there is a defibrillator installed on the wall close to the main entrance to the Rugby Club. Should the need ever arise please do not hesitate, since obviously one of the main reasons for this installation is to minimise any delay. Please do not delay if you are worried about how to operate it. The procedure is very user friendly and at parkrun there will always be other folk nearby to help.


Our volunteers did a fantastic job over the last 12 months and our volunteering situation has improved. It would be a shame to lose the momentum that you all created last year and it would be great to welcome more volunteers this year. Please at least put Volunteering on your 2017 "Things to Do List" but better still sign up TODAY.


Thanks to everyone who volunteered last year - we hope to see you and many new volunteers in 2017.




How to get involved.

A good first step is to Opt-in to receive our regular Volunteer Emails. These keep you in the picture on all volunteering matters without any obligation. It is quite simple to opt in. Just follow these steps:

  1. Sign in here to your parkrun profile: https://www.parkrun.com/signin/
  2. Select email options
  3. Select Chichester from the drop down
  4. Click 'Opt in'
  5. 'Save opt-in events list'.Please get in touch should you wish to help out this week another week or just wish to enquire or inform us about something.

If you wish to volunteer go to the Volunteer section on this website for full details.

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