Participants prior to the Con Smith parkrun in partnership with Vhi. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Volunteers needed for Con Smith parkrun

Con Smith parkrun organisers are eager to get the popular community event back up and running, and are calling for volunteers to join in the fun. Parkrun happens all over the world, every Saturday at 9.30am.

It’s a weekly free to enter 5k walk or run, where you can take the dog along, push the pram, or bring your granny.

While times are recorded, that’s for participants to keep an eye on their progress. The atmosphere is supportive rather than competitive, and the emphasis is on fun for all ages.

Cavan Town’s first parkrun took place on the first Saturday of January 2020, and had rapidly become a highlight of many people’s weekends.

“The uptake was phenomenal and people were really into it,” recalls event director Kim McCafferty.

“There were parkrun tourists with people coming from Kerry, Galway and Belfast to take part. It had a really lovely atmosphere.”

However, along with parkruns worldwide, the Con Smith Park 5k event was suspended due to Covid.

Kim is happy to report that everything is almost in place to get the fun event under way once again.

“Now we are almost ready to start again but need some volunteers for Saturday mornings,” Kim tells the Celt.

The local woman is reluctant to put a figure on the number of volunteers required as everyone is welcome to participate.

“We’d like a pool of volunteers, and people can come in and out. Just an odd Saturday here and there, nobody ever has to do every Saturday. So someone might say, ‘This week I want to walk or run the course and do the parkrun, but next week I’ll volunteer’. Or they could say, ‘I’m not around for the whole month of August’.

The more volunteers, the merrier, and Kim is eager to stress that no one who volunteers will be over-burdened with responsibility.

“There’s lots of small jobs to do, but no one person would ever be lumped with a load of jobs to do,” she said.

“You could cheer on the runners, help mark the course, put up some flags and markers, help with promoting the event, the tech side of recording the times, there are all sorts of fun roles for people who want to join us and be involved.”