Iwao Ogihara participated in the ELC’s Professional English Studies program in 2016/2017. While he was here, he found a good way to combine his love of running with a course requirement for community engagement: volunteering with parkrun, which organizes free, weekly timed runs in many cities around the world.
Iwao recently reflected on his DC experience in an interview posted on parkrun’s blog, where he says, “Volunteering at parkrun was fun! I love running as a runner. But more than that, I liked the atmosphere, which is very friendly and welcoming. It gave me a lot of good experiences that made me feel involved in the local community.”
Thanks to Iwao, parkrun is now active in its 21st country: Japan! He was instrumental in organizing Japan’s first parkrun event, which took place on April 6, 2019; among other tasks, Iwao took on translation of parkrun materials and volunteer coordination. You can read more about Iwao and his experience on parkrun’s blog.
Congratulations, Iwao, on this achievement – and best wishes to you and your parkrun community as you seek to expand in Japan!