From the beginning of this challenge we have believed in taking a pragmatic and considered approach, that protects the spirit of parkrun, and prioritises the safety of everyone who comes into contact with our events. At the same time, we have developed our understanding of the risks of returning such that we can appropriately balance those against the benefits.
A significant part of developing our understanding is related to the evidence around virus transmission in outdoor settings. As part of that we commissioned Professor Mike Weed of The University of Christ Church and Canterbury, in the UK, to carry out a rapid review of the relevant evidence. You can find the protocol for that work published here, and listen to Mike discuss the protocol in the next episode of the Free Weekly Timed podcast.
Work is continuing behind the scenes to prepare for the return of parkrun. We are in close conversations with government departments and public health bodies across a number of parkrun countries, and we are consistently seeing an agreement that the public health benefits of our events are significant, whilst the risk in terms of virus transmission is relatively small. Our Framework has been consistently positively received, and publicly we are experiencing wide-ranging support for the return of our events. Whilst right now we are not ready to commit to specific dates, we do remain positive that some parkrun countries could reopen before the end of October.
Outside of parkrun there is an increasing case for optimism. Other sport and physical activity events are already returning successfully where they are able to accommodate certain mitigations, and each of those moments represent a small victory and a step toward normality. When you look closely it is clear that the world is moving forward, and that the wonderful human spirit is rising to the challenge. We are also seeing schools return, universities prepare to accept more students than ever before, and the tentative return of spectators to sporting events.
Whilst progress isn’t always obvious, things are moving forward, and there is much to be positive about right now. The return of parkrun events is closer than ever.
Thanks as always for your support and patience.
Chief Operating Officer
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