Front Runner Events are proud to announce that they will be joining Five of Britain’s leading participation sporting events to help Get Britain Running, a new partnership that aims to facilitate collaboration and innovation to support mass participation events through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Made up of Front Runner Events, Running High Events, Rees Leisure, MK Marathon and RUNFEST, Get Britain Running is founded on 3 CORE principles:
1. IMPROVING HEALTH
Before the COVID-19 pandemic almost 2 out of 3 of adults in the UK were already overweight and unfit, with obesity rates nearly tripling since 1975. During the first national lockdown physical activity levels across the country plummeted. A survey by Sport England reported that 30% of adults were classed as being 'inactive' between March and May, with almost 12 million adults doing almost no exercise.
Recent studies have shown that being overweight and unfit also increases the risk of serious complications, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. (Source: Public Health England - Excess Weight and COVID-19 - Jul 2020)
Get Britain Running encourages people to get active, whilst also promoting the benefits of exercise in combating the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and obesity.
The campaign encourages the government and local authorities to place the promotion of exercise at forefront of the recovery from COVID-19, and to review restrictions on races in line with consistent evidence of the low risk of transmission at outdoor participation sporting events.
In the meantime, a series of officially licensed virtual events from Get Britain Running’s event organisers will enable people from all walks of life to improve their exercise habits by working towards a goal by earning rewards and medals. Runners will be able to share their progress and find training tips on the Realbuzz Club, the official online community platform for Get Britain Running
2. RAISING AWARENESS
Participation sporting events have been among the most significantly impacted industries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with 93% of UK race organisers reporting 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 (Source: Sport England Active Lives Adults Survey). Running is also the most accessible participation sport, requiring minimal equipment or infrastructure, with only two sports seeing 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.
Get Britain Running aims to provide evidence and guidelines for enabling COVID-19-compliant participation sporting events. Current guidelines need to be amended in line with consistent evidence of the low risk of transmission of COVID-19 at outdoor participation sporting events. The guidelines should be expanded to incorporate events of all sizes, empowering race organisers to deliver safe and secure events 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 support from sport’s bodies and the government.
3. SUPPORTING CHARITIES
Many of the UK’s charities rely on mass participation events for a significant percentage of their fundraising. With supporters unable to take part in events, the majority of this has 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. The Get Britain Running charity programme will be facilitated by the team at Realbuzz Group, who were the driving force behind the huge increase in mass participation event fundraising over the last 15 years.
Get Britain Running will incorporate a website and virtual events series created by Realbuzz Group. Runners can sign up to officially licensed virtual versions of events from all Get Britain Running event organisers, with a unique series medal on offer for runners who complete all five events.
David Martin-Jewell, Managing Director, Front Runner Events said:
“Collaborating with like-minded race organisers at this crucial period for the running sector has become a priority now more than ever. Helping push the agenda for physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits of the nation is vital. We want to be able to help people continue their training and provide tangible goals so that we’re all ready to return safely to road racing again. We at Front Runner Events want to do all we can to help the running and fitness communities particularly through the winter months, which is why we have developed virtual events alongside our partners to help #GetBritainRunning during these difficult times.”
For more information on the initiative to help Get Britain Running, search for the #GetBritainRunning hashtag on social media. For further updates and emerging news follow Front Runner Events on twitter, facebook, instgram or linkedin.