Parkrun CEO announces intent to resume parkrun events in Yorkshire
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Parkrun cancelled its Saturday morning runs across Yorkshire in line with the global organisation's response to the coronavirus pandemic.A statement from Parkrun released in March said: "In line with public health advice, we have taken the decision to close all Parkrun events across the United Kingdom with immediate effect. Initially, this closure will be in place until the end of March, however this is largely to bring all Parkrun countries into the same time frame and we very much expect closures to continue through April at least.
"Going forward we will update Parkrunners regularly and aim to communicate important information as soon as is appropriate.
"We know that this message may be a difficult one for you to receive, and many people will be wondering what to do without their regular weekly catch-up. Please rest assured that we are working hard to develop our strategy so that we are able to support the health and happiness of Parkrunners around the world during this difficult time.
"Remaining active is incredibly important, and we are working on ways to encourage and support that, however please do not arrange group gatherings at your Parkrun venues whilst Parkrun events are suspended."
The events have not been held since the announcement.
However, Global Chief Executive Officer for parkrun Nick Pearson indicated that the runs will restart towards the end of October.
Nick Pearson said in a statement on the parkrun website: "Ever since parkrun events closed in the UK and across the world, we’ve been focused on understanding how and when we would be able to resume in a safe and appropriate way.
"Throughout, we have sought to understand the evidence, to be a part of discussions with government and public health bodies, to listen to the parkrun community, and to communicate regularly, transparently and honestly.
"Following detailed conversations with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Sport England, and Public Health England, I am delighted to announce that we intend to reopen parkrun and junior parkrun events in England toward the end of October this year."
Mr Pearson added that the organisation 'feel that the risk of parkrun events significantly contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom is small' having conducted a number of studies.
Mr Pearson said: "Today represents the start of the next phase in reopening our events, and we know there is much work ahead. Over the coming weeks we will be working closely with landowners and stakeholders across the country so that we can best address their concerns and support their own positions relating to gatherings at their venues.
"We will also be working closely with our volunteer event teams as they prepare for their communities to return, and the entire parkrun staff team is committed to providing all appropriate support.
"From direct phone calls, to live Q&As, podcast discussions, and regular updates through all of our available communications channels, there will be frequent and continued opportunities for you all to provide feedback and ask questions.
"We’ve long understood that human beings have an innate need to be with one another. To talk, to laugh, to support, to share experiences.
"This is a watershed moment. parkrun will return. We will be back together again."