Author – Will Braid
The GIANT Devonport Christmas Fun Run.
Something dawned on me the weekend of the 23rd of Jan 2022. So, I did my own research.
Jump onto your favourite search engine and punch in “community”.
You might find stuff about a tele show with a good looking cast set in a college.
You could even stumble across the “definition”.
But if you are looking for the verb, look no further than the GIANT Devonport Community Fun Run held in Devonport for the first time in late January 2022.
People don’t seem to get the idea that community is a doing word.
It’s not a group of people, it’s a group of people interacting.
Amid the backdrop of a totally understandable postponement, COVID and a participant sadly passing a day or two before the event, the community of Devonport showed that community is a doing word.
There were volunteers preparing the event, handing out medals, Sportsbeer, water, fruit and those paid to be there timing, DJing (if that’s a word!) and calling.
Food vans and amazing coffee set the scene for 500 in person and virtual participants set to take on distances from 800m up to 5km.
We saw community at the Fun Run.
We saw the family of Addison Stewart, one of the six children lost in the Hillcrest Primary School tragedy before Christmas. We saw the junior mile named in her honour.
And we saw a group of people throw it’s collective arms around Richard, whose partner and Everyday Lion Jodie, had passed away mere hours before she was to run.
As participant and Senator Jacqui Lambie said pre race, people just “got on with it”. They got in with is with hugs, tears, smiles and laughter as a group of people with a common goal to run their very best in support of on another.
The term “PB” was bandied around a lot with people running their best time ever and there were groups of people who walked the course, happy to be involved in something a little bigger than themselves.
Two touching moments came when Richard carried Jodie’s number in the recreational mile. He had never run a race in his life and ran every step of the 1600m telling volunteers after that he wore his black arm band on his left arm because it was closer to his heart than his right.
The family of Addison Stewart participated and wore green and blue, Addison’s favourite colours, some even with blue hair and were part of the day that would have meant so much to the young lady we sadly lost in December.
Community is not just a word to describe a collective.
It is a group or people actively serving and sharing.
This service was personified by the volunteers and race organisers Brian and Amie.
To be personal for a minute, Brian and Amie, you are bloody legends. This event gave the town a chance to showcase itself in its best light and live the word community.
The GIANT Devonport Christmas Fun Run was a success and I, for one, hope it grows and grows into something the whole North West coast, even State itself, can be proud to be a part of.