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04 Dec 2021

Longford parkrun in plea to politicians for a return date

Longford parkrun  in plea to politicians  for a return date

Longford parkrun Event Director Kevin Kane

Longford parkrun Event Director Kevin Kane has expressed disappointment and frustration that the government is ‘contradicting their own advice by not issuing a parkrun return date’.

The last Longford parkrun took place on March 7, 2020 and on average 100 people of all ages run or walk the 5km weekly event in the Mall.

Mr Kane remarked, “Both Micheál Martin and Leo Varadkar spoke about the theme of the summer being outdoor events, yet parkrun has been overlooked.”

He is thrilled for all those places being allowed to open up, yet is deeply frustrated that a wonderful outdoor health initiative like parkrun has been put on the back burner. “We have detailed reports carried out by epidemiologists stating the risk of transmission at outdoor sporting events is incredibly low risk.”

600 parkrun events have taken part in various parkrun events around the world since January 2021 and there hasn’t been an issue with Covid. England are restarting parkrun events on Saturday, June 5.

Mr Kane has made representations to Deputy Joe Flaherty and Senator Micheál Carrigy, he has outlined some of reasons to bring parkrun back.

“parkrun target many groups affected by Covid. The mental and physical health benefits with a parkrun return would be absolutely massive. We provide such a safe environment in an outdoor space where the risks are extremely low.

“parkrun has without a doubt saved the HSE millions over the years. It’s time the government repaid the hard work provided by so many volunteers all over this country since 2012, by giving us a date of return.

“The summer would be an amazing time for people to start the parkrun journey again and even more so if they’re starting with us for the first time.”

Mr Kane said Minister Catherine Martin has spoke about pilot schemes to test out outdoor events.

He added, “Outdoor health initiatives should be given the go ahead and if the Minister wants a pilot run for the sake of it, I will gladly put on a parkrun with over 100 people in attendance in Longford whenever she wants. All we are looking for is a date for return.”

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