Saturday saw the long-awaited return of parkrun New Zealand, the first parkrun events back after an extended global lockdown, and a return, in that part of the world at least, to pre-Coronavirus routines. Since the earliest days of this challenge we had prioritised the work required to ensure a smooth return to action when the time was right, and I’m pleased to report that 4,000 people walked, jogged, ran, or volunteered across 29 different event locations. It was also incredibly moving to see each of those events celebrate a different parkrun country, in what was a wonderful acknowledgement that Saturday represented the first step of our journey to reopen events around the world.
As great a moment as that was however, those of us across the other 21 parkrun countries are keener than ever to understand when and how our own events might return. Also understandably, many people would like some clarity around what specific conditions might be required in order to enable parkrun countries to reopen. For example, a level of infections, restrictions on size of gatherings, or guidance around social distancing. It remains our position however, that rather than lobbying or campaigning for our events to be allowed to return or to be given specific targets as to when that may happen, our strategy is to continue surveying parkrunners and parkrun volunteers, and to keep collaborating with our key stakeholders and public health experts, with the aim of making the right decision at the right time, based on each specific country’s unique situation.
We do not feel it is appropriate to provide hard and fast commitments that when X happens we will reopen. However, we’re continually seeing positive news around the world, bringing us all closer to returning to our parks and open spaces, something we are committed to making happen as soon as possible once it is safe and appropriate to do so.
We’re getting through this together,
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