Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: English Council vote to charge parkrun organisation to use local park

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

English Council vote to charge parkrun organisation to use local park

In a world first yesterday, Stoke Gifford Parish Council in England voted to charge Parkrun for using its local park. As most of you will know, parkruns are 5km timed runs which are held every Saturday morning in 850 locations across 12 countries. The one guiding principle is that they are all free to take part in and are run by volunteers. This is the first time anywhere that Parkrun has been charged for using a park.

The local council near Bristol said that it was "unfair" to expect residents to foot the bill for an event with "paid directors, fundraisers and sponsors". They voted six to four in favour of charges.

Their decision has been met with a lot of anger and derision.

In response, Parkrun said...."We are extremely disappointed that Stoke Gifford Parish Council has voted to impose a charge at Little Stoke parkrun. Parkrun has had unprecedented success in engaging the least active and encouraging them to exercise regularly. Providing free weekly access has been fundamental to this and we are disappointed that this opportunity is to be removed for the residents of Little Stoke.

Our aim is to break down barriers to participation in, and delivery of, physical activity and this is consistent across 850 parkruns worldwide, which are all delivered by volunteers and are free to take part in. Imposing a charge at one event is something that contradicts our founding principles and would set a precedent that threatens our future. As a nation we must make a decision about whether we want to be healthier or not. The costs to all of us of inactivity and poor health are immense. parkrun has had enormous success at bringing communities together and promoting physical activity in safe and welcoming social environments.

The past six months have been an uncertain and difficult time for everyone involved with Little Stoke parkrun and our entire global community of more than two million parkrunners is behind them as we discuss our next steps.”

More on the BBC News website


Aidan said...

What is meant by "paid directors, fundraisers and sponsors".
Are people making money out of the park runs? What happens to fundraising and sponsorship?

Anonymous said...

there is no fundraising and sponsorship. parkrun get a grant from the government to cover 'costs'. they don't fundraise for anything which means every time a parkrun opens up somewhere, the local sports clubs, schools and charities have to compete with them for numbers.