Sports News

Athletics: World Athletics partners with parkrun to improve global health

(Reuters) - World Athletics will partner with parkrun Global Limited, a UK-based charity that organises parkrun events, in a bid to grow the sport of athletics and improve fitness standards across the world, the sport’s governing body said on Sunday.

The parkrun movement, in which people take part in weekly 5 or 2km runs organised by volunteers, began as a group of 13 friends in a London park in 2004.

It now attracts more than three million participants globally.

“We have just approved a strategic plan that has the main objective of using the power and accessibility of athletics and our athletes to create a healthier and fitter world,” World Athletics CEO Jon Ridgeon said.

Parkrun chief Nick Pearson said the two organisations would work towards improving fitness standards worldwide by encouraging people to stay active.

“Exercise and physical activity is more accessible and sustainable where sports organisations collaborate and work towards mutual goals,” Pearson said.

Parkrun was halted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but events in New Zealand will resume on July 4, with strict health measures in place.

Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond