Meet event ambassador Wendy Watts

When Wendy Watts discovered parkrun a whole new world opened up to her, now she is helping many other events as an ambassador.

Wendy turned up to her local parkrun in Palmerston North at its inaugural event on October 28, 2017.

She was a run/walker and since that day has found herself on the start lines of many other events.

“I first heard about parkrun about a year before it came to Palmerston North from a friend who had done parkrun in Auckland.

“I had no idea what parkrun was about but was very intrigued and excited when I saw on Facebook it was starting up in Palmy.

“I registered and turned up to our first event as a walker/jogger and was immediately hooked, especially seeing and talking to the large number of parkrun tourists wearing their milestone tees.”

Good friendships

“I enjoy our there and back course along the river. It gives everyone a chance to see everyone and enjoy high fives. The “well dones” and “great to see you again” on the course only adds to the atmosphere.

“As with other parkruns we have a real family feel and good friendships have been formed from meeting at parkrun.”

She says she’s become involved with other running groups and run at trail, road and cross country events. These include trail events of up to 25km and road relay teams.

“The social connections I’ve made are second to none and my physical and mental health has improved no end.


“I’ve become more involved with volunteering at parkrun, and other events, having more volunteer credits than running credits.

“Recently I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and taken on the role of Event Ambassador for the lower North Island, supporting existing and new events.

“While I’m fairly new to parkrun compared to other existing events, I’m enjoying the challenge.

“I appreciate the support and assistance from the parkrun team in helping me provide ongoing support to our Event Directors, and supporting new Event Directors during the setting up process.

“We’re learning together.”

Tourism goals

Wendy’s short-term goals are to visit all the events she supports and to meet the Event Directors in person.

“I had hoped to achieve this by mid-year but realistically I have to move my goal post to the end of this year now the cross country season has started, and I have a few events on my calendar.

“There’s just not enough Saturdays in the week!

“My longer term goals are to continue supporting events and event directors as the number of parkruns in New Zealand grow, and to plan more holidays where there’s a parkrun, not just a lake for fishing. And to get my husband to parkrun!

“A highlight for me was about a year after I started parkrun and our Event Director asked me to be a run director.

“I was nervous at the prospect but also very excited. I thoroughly enjoy learning how parkrun works, not just the event itself, but the behind the scenes work. I’m learning even more as an Event Ambassador.”

As well as the lower North Island events (Palmerston North, Greytown Woodside Trail, Kapiti Coast, Porirua, Lower Hutt and Trentham Memorial) Wendy would like to run at Dunedin parkrun.

“Mainly because I’ve heard it’s steep and I enjoy a challenge! And any parkrun in Perth.

“I’ve got a grandson there I’m still to meet due to COVID-19.

“parkrun has opened up a whole new world for me that I never thought I’d be part of.

“The social connections make parkrun the success it is, here and around the world and I’m thrilled and excited to be part of it.”

2 replies on “Meet event ambassador Wendy Watts”

Good on you Wendy. Very proud of you, being the Event Ambassador of Parkrun. You’ll do it proud. ????????????????????Ilona

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