Veterans’ Health Week is 16 – 24 October
16 – 24 October 2021 is Veterans’ Health Week and this year’s theme is Get Moving! To celebrate, Veteran Sport Australia (VSA) has again joined forces with parkrun Australia and Open Arms, with RSL Australia joining the efforts, to promote Team Veteran – a national walking and running group for the veteran community, families, friends and supporters. We’re calling on everyone to get involved to show your support for veterans!
Joining Team Veteran is a great way to build connections, share experiences with family and friends, stay active and enjoy the outdoors – all of which are integral in supporting the health and wellbeing of veterans.
Everyone can get involved, no matter what your situation is. Whether it’s a walk or jog around the neighbourhood, sweating it out on the treadmill or rolling in a wheelchair, everyone can have a go.
Narelle Patterson, the Event Director of the parkrun at the Puckapunyal Military Base in Victoria said this is a great opportunity for the Defence community to come together.
“parkrun is great for the community and it’s great for families. Being in a military environment can sometimes be quite isolating so it can be good to get out and meet some people and have some fun at the same time.” Narelle said.
Join Team Veteran and Get Moving!
How to join:
- Join parkrun – register at www.parkrun.com.au/register
- Then, join the Team Veteran run club by following this link https://www.parkrun.com.au/groups/29137/ or scanning the QR Code.
How to parkrun this Veteran’s Health Week
- Print the barcode or save it on your phone. Do an in-person parkrun on a Saturday morning or a (not)parkrun walk, jog or run anywhere, anytime
- Post a photo with #teamveteran
- Log your parkrun or (not)parkrun time online
Once you’re done, parkrun will email you with your time and add it to your profile online. Make sure you snap a shot of your parkrun and post it to your socials with #TeamVeteran to share the power of sport with your family, friends and followers too.
parkrun delivers weekly 5km events in parks across the country, coordinated entirely by local volunteers, that encourage participants to walk, jog or run to the finish line. The events are not focused on ability, speed or skill, even dogs and prams are welcome and nobody finishes last! Everyone is encouraged to get involved; whether you just love an outdoor stroll, or are a regular runner.
It is important to note, children remain the responsibility of their parents, guardians, or carers during parkrun events. Children under the age of 11 must be accompanied by an adult when taking part in a parkrun event.
Skip the 5km, Join the team as a volunteer!
If this type of movement is just not your thing, there are several volunteer roles available including timekeeping, marshalling and tail walking. parkrun is a great way to make new connections with those in the community, whilst staying active.
Mary is an Australian Army veteran who moved to Hobart after being medically discharged from the force after sustaining a broken neck and suffering PTS. She credits volunteering at parkrun with her assistance dog, Roxy, as her motivation to get out of bed and get moving.
“Volunteering at parkrun is the best medicine. parkrun is about getting out into nature and meeting people and I finally feel like I am part of a group again, which was something I had lost when I was discharged,” Mary said.
Need some inspiration?
Ben Harris, 41, from Western Australia, was a mechanic in the Australian Regular Army for nine years and served in Afghanistan. Ben started parkrunning to spend time with his wife and two children, and they have now completed more than 1,000 parkruns between them.
“I often cross paths with other military veterans of all services now as a parkrunner. It’s almost a game to spot them in the crowds. parkrun filled a void in my life that I didn’t even know I had, with good people, physical challenge and a place to be a part of our community to a degree that I feel comfortable contributing to.” Said Ben.
No parkrun events in your area? Locked down? Join Team Veteran and (not)parkrun
parkrun operates free weekly community events in 428 locations across the country, so there are ample sessions to join. But, for those in lockdown or remote areas who may not have access to an event, participation is accessible via (not)parkrun.
(not)parkrun allows Team Veteran members the opportunity to submit a 5km walk, jog, or run, on a route of their choosing. It can be done on any day, at any time, with up to one activity per day recorded. Your fastest time each week will be included in a weekly results table. Anyone registered with parkrun can record a (not)parkrun time through their parkrun profile.
What’s stopping you? Let’s Get Moving!
Joining Team Veteran parkrunning is a great way for the defence community to stay connected and active. Visit parkrun.com.au for more information and to join Team Veteran today. Let’s get moving for Veterans’ Health Week!