It’s been four weeks since we first closed parkrun events due to COVID-19, and we’d like to take this opportunity to explain a little about our organisational structure and how we will be approaching the challenge of supporting our communities whilst their events are suspended.
parkrun Global is a UK-based charity with ultimate responsibility for all parkrun events around the world. Over the last five years we have developed our organisational structure such that all parkrun staff (currently that number is 43) work closely together wherever they are based, and as much is centralised as possible. This allows for scalable solutions to be developed, and for younger parkrun territories to benefit from the years of experience gained across older parkrun territories.
Clearly, parkrun would also not be possible without an incredible number of volunteers doing amazing things. As such, supporting the 43 staff, there are around 650 volunteer ambassadors (people who volunteer for parkrun outside of actually delivering events), approximately 2,300 event directors (the people responsible for each individual event itself), and half-a-million different people providing the volunteer roles you see in our parks and open spaces every Saturday or Sunday morning. During normal parkrun operations, those volunteers give around 50,000 hours per week to the parkrun family.
On behalf of the entire parkrun family, I’d like to say a massive thank you to parkrun volunteers across the world. You have been nothing short of incredible during this unprecedented challenge.
While we are working hard to develop our processes for reopening events whenever appropriate, our current efforts are largely focused on supporting our Ambassadors and event teams around the world whilst events are closed.
As part of that support process, over the next few weeks, members of staff will be contacting all ambassadors and event teams, directly and individually, in order to best understand the challenges they are facing, and to provide support where needed.
Decisions to open any parkrun events, in any territory in the future will be made centrally by the parkrun Global team, based on medical, scientific advice, and operational factors including impact on volunteers and event teams. Further detail on this will be shared in future updates.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
We will get through this, together.
Martin Smyth is a parkrunner at both Malahide and Poppintree parkrun, Co. Dublin. At 86 years old, Martin has incredibly completed over 200 parkruns! He first got involved with parkrun after reading about it in the Irish Runner Magazine in 2013 and decided to give it a go. For Martin, parkrun is a great incentive to…
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