Bath Half organiser Running High Events has joined a new partnership that aims to support the mass participation event industry through Covid-19 and beyond.
Get Britain Running is an initiative based on the three core principles of improving health, raising awareness and supporting charities.
Its primary aim is to encourage people to get active, whilst also promoting the benefits of exercise in relation to both Covid-19 and tackling obesity.
It is also hoping to encourage government and local authorities to highlight exercise as a key part of the Covid-19 recovery plan and to review restrictions on mass participation races.
In the meantime, a series of officially-licensed virtual ‘events’ from Get Britain Running will enable people to take part in co-ordinated challenges with opportunities to earn rewards and medals along the way.
Runners will be able to share their progress and find training tips on Realbuzz Club, the official online community platform for Get Britain Running.
For more information search for the #GetBritainRunning hashtag on social media.
Covid-19 and participation events – a closer look:
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, 63 per cent of adults in England were already overweight and unfit, obesity rates in the UK having nearly tripled since 1975. During the first national lockdown physical activity levels across England plummeted further, with 30 per cent of the adult population being ‘inactive’ between March and May, and almost 12 million adults doing almost no exercise. (Source: Sport England Active Lives Adults Survey – Coronavirus Report)
Recent studies have shown that being overweight and unfit also increases your risk of catching Covid-19 and increases your risk of serious complications, hospitalisation and death from Covid-19. (Source: Public Health England – Excess Weight and Covid-19 – Jul 2020)
Participation sporting events have been among the most significantly impacted industries as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 93 per cent of UK running race organisers have reported a loss in revenue in 2020 as reported by Sports Business.
Running is the most popular sport in the UK, enjoyed by 7.5 million adults each week. Running is also the most accessible of participation sports, requiring minimal equipment or infrastructure. (Source: Sport England Active Lives Adults Survey)
Running was one of only two sports to see a significant increase in participation during the first national lockdown, whilst restrictions on gyms, leisure centres and team sports caused general physical activity levels to plummet across England. (Source: Sport England Active Lives Adults Survey – Coronavirus Report)
Many of the UK’s charities rely on mass participation events for a significant percentage of their fundraising revenues. With supporters unable to take part in events, the majority of these fundraising revenues have been slashed in 2020.
Get Britain Running aims to provide support and give charities a platform to raise awareness of the challenges they are facing. A series of fundraising initiatives will be implemented through virtual events to give charity supporters an avenue to continue their fundraising in the temporary absence of physical events.
Research and lobbying:
Get Britain Running aims to research, document and circulate supporting evidence and guidelines for enabling Covid-19-compliant participation sporting events. It is imperative to provide participants with safe and secure environments with minimal impact on the race day experience. The partnership will also raise wider awareness of the challenges faced by the industry, lobbying for action and financial support from the sport’s governing bodies and the government.