This week we are starting a series of looking at how parkrun is developing in other countries around the world. parkrun now exists in 14 countries (and hopefully by the end of this series, perhaps one or two more……) which are the UK, the Republic of Ireland, USA, Poland, Russia, Denmark, Italy, France, Singapore, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada and here in Sweden.
Along with Sweden, Canada is the most recent country to start up, having launched last autumn with the first parkrun in Okanagan in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Since then 3 other parkruns have started up around the country, from Richmond Olympic parkrun in Vancouver on the West Coast to Saint-Paulin parkrun in French speaking Quebec. There’s a whole host of enquiries and possibilities for new parkruns to begin in 2017 and beyond. Check out the map at the head of this article to see all the possible parkruns that may be a reality soon!
The Country Manager, Euan Bowman, has been working to get parkrun started in Canada for a number of years since he moved to the country. Previously he was Event Director at one of the early parkruns in the UK, Basingstoke.
“I’m really happy to have been able to get parkrun Canada off the ground. We are still very new, and a lot of the time it feels like the early days back in Basingstoke, but it reminds me how special the small events are. My favourite part of the parkrun week is welcoming whoever is on holiday or on a work trip trying to get their weekly fix in. We just never know who we’re going to meet week after week!”
Canada of course has a similar climate to Sweden, and the parkruns there have faced identical issues when it comes to ice and snow through the first winter. Most of the time though they’ve been able to carry on regardless, even when temperatures dropped to -29oC in Nose Hill and they had to contend with a full-on blizzard!
“So far the journey has been going well. There is lots of interest out there and we are just coming out of our first winter. Of our first four events, we didn’t have any that shut down for the season although we are aware that might be a future possibility for some events. We were lucky enough for Nose Hill parkrun to continue as it’s a park that is very exposed to the elements! We wouldn’t start a parkrun without due safety consideration, and we have had to cancel a handful of events due to hazards such as ice. Thankfully Spring is upon us and we have a few parkruns to launch. 2017 is shaping up to be a great year!”
So the next time you’re in Canada, be sure to check out one of their parkruns!
This weekend will be a celebration of parkrun with our ‘special day’ events taking place in Denmark on 5th June and Sweden on 6th June, in addition to our regular parkrun events on Saturday 3rd June. In Denmark 6 of our 9 events will be hosting a special event on Monday 5th June, including…
All around the world, we’ve seen over 28,000 unique volunteers in the parkwalker role and they’ve parkwalked over 52,000 times! We speak to one of the parkwalkers, Cathy Hannon, about why she chooses to volunteer in her favourite role every Saturday morning. Cathy’s chronic condition means that parkwalking is the best option for her, she relishes the…