Tag Archives: Athletics

Restarting parkrun in England: 5 June 2021!

Restarting parkrun in England 5 June 2021

Following the publication of the Government’s roadmap for exiting lockdown, Parkrun are excited to share our plans to restart both junior and 5k parkrun events across England.

In line with the latest guidance on the lifting of restrictions across England, and operating within parkrun already approved COVID-19 framework, we currently expect that:

  • junior parkrun events across England will be able to return from Sunday 11 April 2021.
  • all 5k parkrun events across England will return on Saturday 5 June 2021.

It’s important to note that the roadmap presented on Monday applies to England only and whilst we are excited to begin working towards returning events over the coming months, we are not forgetting about our other UK communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. As things stand we are unable to pinpoint a date for returning either junior or 5k parkrun across these three devolved nations, but we continue to work closely with relevant authorities and stakeholders to understand when it may be appropriate.

In the following update we’ve tried to be open and transparent; to provide event teams, landowners and participants with as much of the detail and rationale as possible that sits behind the decisions we are now able to communicate. There will undoubtedly be questions that we haven’t answered here. But over the coming weeks and as we work towards reopening, we will be providing numerous opportunities for people to get in touch, to ask questions, and to guide our communities through the process of restarting parkrun events in England.

As a registered charity, with legally-binding objects, we have an obligation to support the reopening of our events as soon as it is appropriate to do so. However, there are significant differences between our junior and 5k series.

Junior parkrun

We are particularly pleased to see the prioritisation of children’s sport and activity in the roadmap, and due to the smaller number of participants and relative lack of tourism, we are comfortable supporting a phased return of junior events, helping teams to reopen when they are ready to do so.

The published roadmap for England states that, “from 29 March, formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – can restart and will not be subject to gathering limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies.

With 4 April being Easter Sunday it would seem sensible to delay a further week to the 11th.

Our expectation therefore is that junior parkrun events across England will be able to return, from Sunday 11 April.

This provides six clear weeks between an announcement this Friday and first events returning, and so from Monday next week we will be working through the same reopening process that we started in December last year.

As communicated last year, in the absence of our 5k events, we will be reopening our junior parkrun series for children aged 4-10 only. We have thought long and hard about this temporary restriction over the last six months, and for the following reasons believe that it is the only appropriate way to reopen junior parkrun at this time:

  • In the absence of 5k parkrun events, the number of registered children eligible for junior parkrun (aged 4-14) would effectively double, from roughly 300,000 to 600,000.
  • By temporarily limiting our age categories to 4-10-year-olds only, we would be reducing the number of registered and eligible parkrunners by around 50%, bringing it back to a figure (around 300,000) similar to those previously registered to junior parkrun.
  • Whilst we know that not all older children would attend a junior parkrun event, it is likely that a significant number would, with a high proportion of older, faster, and more competitive children coming over from our 5k events, likely to negatively impact the youngest participants.
  • In the absence of being able to limit or cap event participation in any other way, this change allows us to mitigate the risks associated with junior parkrun events doubling in attendance ‘overnight’.
  • From the conversations and discussions we have had so far with third parties, we also believe that local stakeholders will be significantly more comfortable giving permission for events targeted at primary-school-age children.

Importantly, we are committed to this change being temporary, and as soon as 5k events return, 11-14 year olds will be welcomed back to junior parkrun. In the interim period, we will strongly encourage parkrunners aged 11-14 to volunteer, spectate, or accompany younger siblings as they take their first parkrun steps.


5k parkrun 

Excitingly, for the first time in six months, we now see a realistic timeframe for the return of 5k events in England.

Unlike junior parkrun, which can return in phases, our 5k events need to all come back at the same time, with the definition of ‘all’ probably being something north of 90%. This is due to the relatively large attendances, and significant opportunity for tourism, meaning that if only a subset of 5k events opened they would very likely be overwhelmed with unmanageable levels of attendance.

Based on the published guidance, our 5k events could technically return from Saturday 4 April. However, due to the other national restrictions in place, the expected level of infection at that time, and a number of our 5k events regularly exceeding 1,000 participants, we do not believe it would be appropriate for them to return this early.

Our experience from the autumn also demonstrated that in the absence of other, similar, events taking place, it is difficult to generate the level of support and permissions required to return. We therefore don’t think it would be fair or appropriate to attempt to return too early.

With all the available information, we have determined that Step 3 presents the most realistic time for our 5k events to reopen, particularly when consideration is made to the significant number of external stakeholders whose support we also need. At this stage, and with the return of other large gatherings at both indoor and outdoor events, we expect there will be a much greater confidence in, and support for 5k parkrun events returning.

Our expectation therefore is that all 5k parkrun events across England will return on Saturday 5 June.

What next?

Event teams: For the moment, please don’t do anything. We will be in touch shortly regarding the processes for reopening, and will aim to prioritise junior events in the short term.

Landowners: We know it’s been challenging for everyone over the last 12 months, and so please be reassured that we will not just assume our events can simply turn up on 5 June. Over the coming weeks we will be in touch with all of you with the aim of renewing permissions prior to reopening.

Everyone else: Whilst we’re pretty experienced in starting and supporting the delivery of free, weekly, timed, 5k and 2k events around the world, this project entails reopening almost 900 different events, impacting over three-million registered parkrunners. We’ve never done that in 14 weeks before, and will be learning as we go, so please do be patient.

Over the coming weeks we plan to hold a number of Q&A sessions through our social channels, and we will continue to provide updates via our blog and weekly newsletters.

If you have any questions please do get in touch with parkrun here.

parkrun Global

You can listen to a further discussion regarding parkrun’s return in England, with our Chief Operating Officer Tom Williams, on the Free Weekly Timed podcast here.

original article: https://blog.parkrun.com

Parkrun – London List


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Marathon runner Charlotte Ellis in conversation!

Visually impaired marathon runner Charlotte Ellis in conversation - Online event!

original article  https://www.york.ac.uk

Hear the inspiring story of visually impaired marathon runner Charlotte Ellis as she discusses her remarkable sporting journey with Elly Fiorentini of BBC Radio York.

Countdown to success: Marathon runner
Charlotte Ellis in conversation

Date and time:  Tues day 1 December 2020, 6 pm to 6.30 pm
Location: Online Event
Audience: Open to alumni, staff, students, the public
Admission: Free admission, booking required

Charlotte will explain how she entered sport despite low expectations around sporting achievement for someone with sight loss and how the University of York was influential in her sporting career.

Visually impaired all her life, as a child Charlotte was discouraged from taking part in sport at school. However, she didn’t allow this to stop her and found alternative routes into sporting activity, including circus performing and self-defence.

As a student at the University of York, she discovered trampolining, before being encouraged to take up running for the first time.

Another exciting challenge arose with a move to Triathlon, which led to world and European titles in 2010. But despite further success in Triathlon, Charlotte’s attention returned to running.

Through hard work and dedication she qualified for the British Athletics team and a place in the World Para Athletics Marathon championships in 2020, unfortunately the event was cancelled due to Covid-19.

This online in conversation event is part of York Disability Week 2020 and includes a Q&A session. Please submit your questions here before Wednesday 11 November.


Rising Phoenix: a documentary about the Paralympic Games movement

Rising Phoenix: a documentary about the Paralympic Games movement

Rising Phoenix: a documentary about the Paralympic Games movement

Original article from disabilityhorizons.com

Paralympian’s hail the launch of ground-breaking movie Rising Phoenix, which features the story of the Paralympic Games movement to coincide with one-year-to-go celebrations for Tokyo 2020.

Rising Phoenix: Official Trailer below

Trailblazing Paralympics documentary ‘Rising Phoenix’ streams globally in over 190 countries on Netflix to coincide with the one-year-to-go celebrations for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which were pushed back a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Featuring nine Paralympians from across the world, this cutting-edge movie tells the remarkable story of the Paralympic Games from the rubble of World War II until becoming the third biggest sporting event on the planet.

‘Rising Phoenix’ examines how the Paralympics have sparked a global movement throughout the decades and shows how it continues to change the way the world thinks about disability, excellence, diversity and human potential.

The athletes starring in Rising Phoenix  

Nine Paralympic athletes including Bebe Vio, Jean-Baptiste Alaize, Cui Zhe, Tatyana McFadden and Great Britain’s Jonnie Peacock, share their exceptional stories of skill, power and determination to make it to the top of the third biggest sporting event in the world.

Jonnie Peacock - Paralympic Games
Multiple-swimming Paralympic champion Ellie Cole from Australia strongly believes ‘Rising Phoenix’ will help take the Movement in to the next level.

Multiple-swimming Paralympic champion Ellie Cole from Australia strongly believes ‘Rising Phoenix’ will help take the Movement in to the next level.

“When I see a piece of work like this one, and especially something that a brand like Netflix is taking up, I think back to when I was 9 or 10 years old and not knowing that Para sport even existed,” she said.

“I’ve seen the evolution to what it has become to the point where there’s a Netflix documentary and that is something else. It makes me proud because I’ve seen it change so dramatically. I know what it used to be like.

“I think people who watch the film, particularly those who aren’t fans already, are going to finally understand that the Paralympic Movement is really multi-dimensional. It’s actually so cool.”

South African Paralympic athletics silver medallist Ntando Mahlangu is one of the rising Paralympic stars, having made a name for himself at the young age of 18 following many successes on the track.

He agrees with Ellie that this documentary is an example of sport’s power for uniting the world.

“What is definitely in my heart is the story of the Paralympians. I think this is a platform where people will learn about the Paralympics and this is what I wanted.

“People are going to start supporting Paralympics, people are going to start knowing what the Paralympics are, so it’s going to be a good platform for everyone in the Paralympics.

Born without arms, archer Matt Stutzman is a well-known name in the Paralympics with his unique feet-shooting style.

The 37-year-old from Team USA athlete: “I think (the movie) is trying to bring awareness to everyone who is watching. Yes, we have physical disabilities but that does not stop us. We can still live normal lives; we can still be the person who goes to the grocery store and gets food. We can live like everybody else.

At the same time, wheelchair rugby legend Ryley Batt wishes he could watch ‘Rising Phoenix’ together with his grandfather. “I was by myself the first time I saw Rising Phoenix, and it even had me in tears. My Pop knows he was a big influence on my life but God, he would be proud to see this.

“Pop loved to get behind the camera, and he filmed some of the footage you see in the movie. He was very proud of me and he would be really stoked that I’m in a documentary like that, embracing who I am.

“I watched the movie for the second time with my family and they were all in tears. It wasn’t tears of ‘I feel so sorry for you.’ It was tears of pride, seeing what myself and these other athletes have overcome and also the challenges that we’ve all accepted.”

Rising Phoenix soundtrack created by disabled artists

As well as Paralympians featuring in this film, the music is created and performed by people with disabilities too.

The directors of Rising Phoenix, Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, were reluctant to have a well-known musician feature on the soundtrack. Speaking to Variety, Ian said:

“we were very reluctant to have a big name because we’ve got a film full of athletes who should be household names, and yet none of these people are famous. It felt wrong to have a big-name singer finish the film off.”

Fortunately, composer Daniel Pemberton discovered three American rappers, part of Krip-Hop Nation, “a loose-knit scene of disabled hip-hop artists,” Pemberton tells Variety, “quite a fascinating world, very overlooked and underground.

The three American rappers – George TraGiC and Keith Jones, who both have cerebral palsy and Toni Hickman, whose right side is now partially paralyzed after two brain aneurysms and a stroke – wrote lyrics that reflect the film and their own experiences living with a disability.

Daniel also had support creating the film score by three disabled musicians; viola and violin player Gemma Lunt and French hornist Guy Llewellyn, who are both wheelchair users, and visually impaired soprano Joanne Roughton-Arnold.

The title track from the film Rising Phoenix, scored by Daniel Pemberton and performed by Krip Hop Nation, is available to download from all major online outlets.

Rising Phoenix is available to watch on Netflix now.

By Emma Purcell

Paralympics: 8 questions with Ellie Robinson

Paralympics: 8 questions with Ellie Robinson

The inside track: 8 questions with Ellie Robinson

original article  by paralympics.org.uk

We caught up with Paralympic multi-medallist Ellie Robinson on being part of the team, her other surprising sporting passion and looking ahead to Tokyo 2020.

1) How did you get into swimming?

I learned to swim at the age of 4 and took part in every sport I could. Just before the London 2012 Paralympic Games, I went to a talent ID day, where I was told I had a talent for swimming. Due to my competitive nature and enthusiasm in sport, I joined Northampton Swimming Club when I was 11. Before the season started in September, I went to the Aquatics Centre in London, where I watched the ParalympicsGB athletes competing. The excitement surrounding the London Games was definitely a catalyst to the start of my swimming career.

2) What is the best thing about being a Paralympic athlete?

The best thing about being a Paralympic athlete is the platform to change perspectives surrounding disabilities. The growing interest around Paralympic sport is helping to achieve the integration of disabilities into everyday society. I’m grateful for the voice Paralympic sport has given me to speak as an athlete, not just someone with a disability – the professionalism and athleticism of Paralympic sport is lessening the need for labels of “able bodied” and “disabled”, to produce a true sense of equality.

3) What does being part of the ParalympicsGB team mean to you?

Being a part of ParalympicsGB for me is the mark of my professionalism as an athlete. Being able to wear the ParalympicsGB kit instils a great amount of pride in me. It’s one of the highest honours as an athlete, to know that you have been selected to represent the aspired to image of sport in your nation.

4) What memory do you cherish most from competing at Rio 2016?

My most cherished memory from Rio 2016 was walking onto poolside of the warm up pool each day. Despite only being 15 I felt at home in a competitive environment amongst the other athletes. I felt excited to be performing on a global stage and throughout the 3 weeks we were there, the anticipation I felt each time I stepped into the venue, never diminished in the slightest.

5) What are you looking forward to most about Tokyo 2020?

What I’m looking forward to about Tokyo, is taking the experience I gained in Rio and proving to myself how I have progressed as an athlete. There’s a great amount of sentimental value surrounding my experiences in 2016 and I hope to be able to reflect upon my time in Tokyo and see how I’ve grown as an athlete and a person.

6) How does the public support help you to perform at your best?

I feel public support has such a great impact on performance, and, not just on the day of competition. The people’s increasing interest of Paralympic sport and the media surrounding it, creates an atmosphere before the Games that even helps in training. The anticipation of the Paralympics drives me as an athlete, as I like to believe; the greater the platform, the greater the chance to impact on the world. Whether it’s with regard to the success of British athletes, new perspectives on disabilities, or even my own performance.

7) What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

The use of my spare time is pretty influenced by the F1 season! I have a group of friends with whom I watch the Grand Prix live, every time there’s a race, although maybe not Australia 🙂 I’m a sporadic reader, so I can go ages without reading a book and then suddenly become engrossed in one, but one thing I’ve always liked is writing, ever since I was young.

8) If you weren’t a swimmer, what sport would you do?

If I wasn’t a swimmer, I would’ve loved to have attempted karting, although, understandably the progression of disabled athletes in motorsport is somewhat behind that of other sports. However, as this is a hypothetical, I’ll still say karting/motorsport, as it’s something I’ve always wanted to try.



BBS & England Athletics Guide Running Update

BBS & England Athletics Guide Running Update


As lockdown restrictions across the UK are being changed, British Blind Sport has been working closely with England Athletics to update guidance on the status of guide running in England.

The government recommendations are that people remain 2 metres apart, or 1 metre with extra protection measures, therefore we understand that extra modification is essential on account of a disability or impairment.

As such, guide running can once again begin to take place as long as both guide and visually impaired runner fully understand the increased risk associated with the activity and follow the mitigations included in the updated guidance.

Guide running should ideally take place with participants running side by side and should only take place outdoors. You should maintain social distancing from other people when out running and ensure that hands are washed before and after activity. We also recommend that running tethers are thoroughly cleaned between uses.

Ideally, where possible, both parties should be from within the same household or support bubble to decrease risk of the virus spreading. However, if this is not possible then guide running should take place between the same pair until further lifting of restrictions are advised (i.e. guide runners only run with one VI runner and vice versa).

It is also important that guide and VI runner have up to date contact details for one another, for track and trace purposes.

Please be aware that neither British Blind Sport nor England Athletics can take responsibility for any risk, injury or illness incurred during guide running and that all participants must fully understand the risk that they are taking on by resuming this activity.

If you have any queries, please get in touch by emailing info@britishblindsport.org.uk or phoning the BBS office on 01926 424247.

For further information from England Athletics, click here to view the updated guidance on the England Athletics website – included in the three guidance documents for Athletes & Runners, Coaches & Leaders, and Road Running Coaches.