What are the benefits of parkrun?


Tim Braybon has served in the Australian Army for 21 years.

“When you serve in the Australian Defence Force you have your own community and the support that comes with that; you have routine; you have a sense of belonging and purpose.  When you leave the ADF, for whatever reasons, it’s the loss of those key elements that can the hardest part of transitioning.

“I recommend parkrun as a way to find connection, belonging and reinstate regular exercise into daily life.”

 Tim has been a parkrun member for 3 years and says regular exercise is well known for its mental and physical health benefits.

“There’s something about just turning up.  Knowing that people expect to see you there every Sunday – that you have a time and place to be.  It makes you accountable to focus on yourself and include regular exercise into your routine.”

Tim says around 1600 people leave the ADF each year involuntarily, for reasons such as medical discharge.  He sees many colleagues go on to successful civilian careers, but also knows it can be more difficult for those who leave involuntarily due to medical or physical injuries.

“Community connection and routine through ParkRun can assist with overall wellness.  Sometimes it’s about the conversations you can have before or during the run. Sometimes it’s just about showing up.  For me, helping to create the Bravery Trek ParkRun team is a way I can show my support for all those who serve in the ADF and it provides a starting point for what be difficult conversations to initiate.

“Often mental health challenges can be linked to financial challenges, and people don’t always know where to turn for help.

“As part of the Bravery Trek parkrun team, I can reach out to fellow veterans and help identify the types of services that can provide that vital support when needed.

“It can be hard to talk about finances (it’s the ultimate “f” word) –  it can be especially hard for people who’ve never had to ask for help before, to take that first step and reach out.

“Organisations like Bravery Trust have a genuine understanding of the Defence ecosystem and the challenges facing by veterans during and after service, and can provide financial support and longer-term financial counselling.

“Encouraging new people to get involved and join our ParkRun team, might be a catalyst to encourage conversations, and to reach out to those who are struggling and provide them with the support and referrals they need.”

Parkrun is an all-inclusive event; veterans of all ages and all fitness levels can join.  It doesn’t matter how fast you run, or even if you walk – it is about the people you meet and the connections you build.

Join me as a member of our parkrun team supporting Australian Defence Force veterans.

Supporting Those Who Serve

Bravery Trust
Bravery Trust