Thank God it’s Saturday has never quite had the notoriety of its better known cousin TGIF. TGIF gets a restaurant chain with staff sporting wacky badges and steaks garnished with Jack Daniels bourbon. In the UK even a TV show every Friday with equally ‘outside the box’ entertainment shared a similar name.
However for a huge raft of, well , every age group, the rallying cry is ..yes! it’s Saturday, and Parkrun day. If you are not familiar, Google it, but in essence it’s a free run every Saturday in 100’s of locations across the UK and beyond, attracting 500 or more to each event. So what is the big deal – yes, a chance for a timed run with like minded people, but the bonus value of these events is the volunteering to make it happen in terms of organisation and marshaling that this requires and attracts. And actually for many participants they will dip in and out to do both. The principle being if you take in life, it’s important to give as well. But like a ‘buy one, get one free’ retail offer that also pays loyalty points, it can go one better . There is a newly formed UK voluntary group called GoodGym . Basically a group of runners who run to a venue be that a school, community group, care home, wildlife reserve etc. and then do some volunteering and then run back! And today’s location they have run to…. the venue of my local Parkrun! , They will do the run, a bit of a tidy up in the park and then home…well actually via the cafe for a bacon sarnie and a tea! Now how good is that!
Volunteering sometimes gives a bad vibe as it is perhaps interpreted as giving something up, rather than giving something back! A Mum with 5 children was recently interviewed on TV and asked how does she share her love among the children..her answer I don’t divide it, I multiply it! I rest my case.