parkrun works tirelessly to protect the parkrun experience, for walkers, runners, and volunteers, always aiming to remain as close as possible to the original Bushy parkrun spirit of a simple event in the park with your mates. The changes we have made have been largely related to providing a safe environment for our participants and supporting the amazing volunteer teams who facilitate the events every weekend, as parkrun UK’s Head of Event Delivery Helen Hood explains.
Relatively little has changed at parkrun over the years – you can still turn up 10 minutes before the start of parkrun and walk, jog, run, or volunteer for free. Importantly, any changes have been as a result of the extensive learnings taken from delivering tens of thousands of events around the world, week after week.
During 2017, in the UK, we recorded 3,964 incidents across the categories of medical, operational, safeguarding, and disputes. Each of those was entered on to our dedicated online reporting system which allows us to track trends, investigate further when necessary, and where appropriate make changes to our processes. When added to all global incidents and historical data, we believe we have a world-leading process for recording and reviewing incidents. This helps us to ensure an appropriate level of health and safety provision, whilst maintaining our principle of removing barriers to event delivery, in addition to event participation.
For example, in last year’s report we wrote that by the end of 2016 69% of 5k events had access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) within five minutes of their finish area. Having launched another 60 5k events in 2017 we increased this figure to 98%, meaning we have almost reached our goal of 100% AED coverage including junior events by the end of 2018.
Our busiest weekend in 2017 in the UK, in terms of participation, was the 28th and 29th of October, when 144,000 people walked, ran, and/or volunteered at one of the 655 5k or junior events across the country. Scaling to this size would not have been possible without a huge number of dedicated volunteers at the coal face, the parkrun Ambassadors who provide vital support to events, and our staff, who are all keeping the wheels turning and ultimately making parkrun one of the most accessible, inclusive, and safest places in the world to engage with physical activity.
Helen’s article is taken from parkrun UK’s 2017 Annual ‘Run Report’. You can access the full online report using this link. It looks best when viewed in full-screen.
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