We’ve now seen parkrun New Zealand take place for the second weekend in a row, and it’s been great to welcome parkrunners back across the country.
Pleasingly we’ve not seen attendance negatively affected, and across all metrics we measure (for example age, gender, pre-registration activity levels, finish times) things are largely back to where we were pre-COVID-19.
It’s important to note however that New Zealand had eradicated community transmission of COVID-19 before our return, and as we look forward it’s likely that most, if not all, other parkrun countries will reopen without having completely eradicated the virus.
We know that parkrun events are incredibly important public health initiatives in their own right and that, in the future, free-to-enter events with low barriers to delivery and participation will be critical tools in enabling socially-focused physical activity.
As communities around the world recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and their associated lockdowns, being active, together, and in the great outdoors will be something we can all benefit from.
Our understanding of the challenges presented by COVID-19 is developing, and public health guidance continues to relax across many parts of the world, allowing more opportunities for physical activity and community events. In turn, we are beginning to bring together our own thoughts around how parkrun events may best reopen safely and appropriately, specifically in countries where a low level of infection remains.
Thanks for your patience. In time, we will publish our principles for reopening parkrun events in these situations, but in advance of that I’d like to reassure you that we will always prioritise the health and wellbeing of our communities.
We strive to bring people closer together, not move them apart, and we will always keep things as simple as possible.
We’re getting through this, together,
Chief Operating Officer
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