Smithfield Cattle Company co-owner Barb Madden, left, Proston Qld president Carmel Parnell and South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto watch as Cr Kathy Duff cuts a pink ribbon at the sponsor’s launch of the Railway Park parkrun
(Photo: Anita Blanch)

October 27, 2021

The official “sponsor’s launch” of the Proston parkrun was held recently to thank Smithfield Feedlot for coming on board to make the event a reality.

Parkruns are free community events held at venues all around the world every Saturday morning.

Participants run, jog or walk five kilometres.

The Proston event is officially known as the “Railway Park” parkrun; other South Burnett parkruns are located in Wondai and on the Ros Gregor Trail at Nanango.

Proston resident Anita Blanch said the initial inspiration for a Proston event came from discussions with the South Burnett Rail Trail Users Association and community members about creating a drawcard to attract tourists to the area.

Cr Kathy Duff then took the idea to the Proston Round Table for further discussions where it was identified this would bring much more to Proston than just tourism.

Round Table members believed the regular events would increase the “liveability” of the town as well as improve the overall mental and physical health of local residents.

A proposed parkrun track had been marked out a few years earlier by local resident Kristy Frahm who had been taking part in the Wondai parkrun.

“(Community nurse) Kathy Crane and I then started to research the criteria that we would have to meet to host a parkrun, and it became apparent that the biggest hurdle would be the initial setup costs,” Anita said.

“We began the paperwork anyway, not sure where we would get the sort of money required, but confident in the support of our community.

“We were able to secure an initial contribution towards the venture with help from Proston Qld Ltd (a not-for-profit community organisation) and the South Burnett Regional Council.

“Further discussions with parkrun revealed that they may be able to obtain a defibrillator (a requirement to host a parkrun) through a grant which would reduce our initial start up cost by a further $2500.

“This is when we approached the Smithfield Cattle Company to see if they would be interested in sponsoring the event.

“We were beyond excited when they kindly offered this sponsorship, securing parkrun for Proston, its locals and visitors.”


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