World Athletics and parkrun Global Limited recently announced a new partnership by which they will combine their resources to grow the sport of athletics and deliver good health and fitness outcomes for communities around the world.
Parkrun’s simple concept of offering an opportunity for anyone to participate in a free, weekly, organised 5km or 2km run at a local park has captured the imagination of communities around the world over the past 16 years. The weekend events are now in 20 different countries.
In return, parkrun has agreed to leave a health legacy by creating permanent runs in future World Athletics host cities, including Eugene and Budapest which will stage the respective 2022 and 2023 World Championships. World Athletics will facilitate Government and city support for these events, and it is hoped the partnership will support new runners.
World Athletics, which has 214 Member Federations, and parkrun will work together to encourage people around the world to get moving and keep moving by joining a local parkrun.
By developing strong new partnerships where our common cause is to get the world moving. “We know that many more people have taken up running during the lockdowns around the world, which makes sense because our sport is the most universal and accessible of all sports, and we want to encourage those people to keep up their new fitness routines as life returns to a more normal footing after the pandemic. We’re also determined to leave tangible community legacies in all of our future host cities and countries, and there is no better way to do that than by helping to improve the health of their citizens.” World Athletics chief executive Jon Ridgeon
This partnership offers parkrun a fantastic platform to demonstrate the role, relevance and value of community health and well-being initiatives and to highlight that sport and physical activity is accessible to all. It is exciting to see this approach embraced by World Athletics, and we look forward to working with stakeholders in the host countries of World Athletics Series events to support and develop a network of parkrun events. Encouraging the social and community participants to engage with and experience a more competitive sporting environment will help to build a stronger sport and expose pathways to more sporting opportunities.” Parkrun chief executive Nick Pearson
Parkrun New Zealand also announced that it will be able to resume parkruns on July 4, with measures in place to allow contact tracing of participants.