The situation with regards to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) remains somewhat changeable in every country in which we operate. Last week all parkrun events in New Zealand were temporarily suspended in line with the short-term lockdown restrictions in place. At the time of writing, events outside Auckland will return this Saturday, with a decision on whether events in Auckland can also resume due to be made later in the week.
Meanwhile more than 53,000 parkrunners walked, jogged, ran and volunteered at 437 events across four countries last weekend. Seeing these events take place and witnessing, via social media, the joy they bring to local communities continues to be a real source of encouragement to us all that parkrun will return before too long.
In England, where the path back to normality has been set out by the recent Government roadmap, we’re making good progress and excitedly doing the work necessary to support the return of junior parkrun from 11 April and 5k parkrun on 5 June.
Last week we wrote to about 30,000 parkrunners who had previously volunteered at 5k events in England, including all Event Directors and anyone who had carried out the Run Director role in the 12 months prior to March 2020.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with 91% of more than 14,000 individual respondents telling us that they will either definitely (48%), likely (28%), or maybe (15%), volunteer at their 5k events in June.
There is undoubtedly a great deal of excitement about the return of parkrun in England. However, we are conscious of the fact that, for some, there remains a degree of fear about the ongoing situation more broadly, and that there is some uncertainty and concern about when it is appropriate for us to return. With such a large community with a diverse range of experiences, views and opinions, we will never get universal agreement on any decision.
The survey work we carry out is critical in helping us understand how our individual communities feel, and what participation at parkrun events might look like when we return. And it’s insight like this that enables us to support our event teams in getting started again when we are able to do so.
Whilst we make progress with events in England, we are not forgetting about our other regions and countries where the path back is less clear. But we do remain hopeful that we will be in a position to restart more events in the not too distant future.
Thanks for your continued support.
Chief Operating Officer
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