Kirsten Ellis is gearing up for the Stanthorpe Australia Day Triathlon.
Kirsten Ellis is gearing up for the Stanthorpe Australia Day Triathlon. Liana Turner

Parkrun organiser recognised in Australia Day awards

KIRSTEN Ellis has claimed Stanthorpe's Australia Day Sports Administration Award for 2017.

Ms Ellis was the driving force behind the establishment of Stanthorpe parkrun, a free fitness program offered through weekly, timed runs of 5km.

The process of getting parkrun operational required a considerable commitment on Ms Ellis' part, from seeking approval from parkrun head office to establish the local branch, travelling to Warwick over a three-month period for training sessions on regulations, how to set-up a course and conduct an event in order to fully equip her for the role of event director.

Ms Ellis also learned the computer program used to register and record results.

She liaised with Southern Downs Regional Council to determine an appropriate course, created a Facebook page to promote parkrun as well as through local media.

Ms Ellis has been credited as a pivotal cog in the successful establishment and continued growth of parkrun in Stanthorpe through her dedication to this sport.

In her voluntary role as local parkrun director, Me Ellis sets up the event in Gleeson Park every Saturday morning at 6am, rain, hail, frost or shine.

She organises the weekly volunteer rosters, packs up after the events, records the results for all runners and publishes them on the web.

To ensure the sustainability of parkrun in Stanthorpe, and to build the capacity of volunteers, Ms Ellis is training other volunteers to fulfil key roles and to assist in running events.

Ms Ellis leads by example. She has achieved a level of personal fitness that is impressive and now participates in half-marathons and mini-marathons. Her dedication, perseverance and unfailing enthusiasm are a source of inspiration to all parkrunners.

Ms Ellis has shown initiative, drive and determination in establishing and maintaining an international fitness program in Stanthorpe, with a welcoming and supportive atmosphere. She readily shares her personal fitness journey with others which has encouraged many people of various ages and levels of fitness to get involved in an active lifestyle.

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