The organisers of the Enniskillen parkrun are ‘devastated’ and said they did everything in their power to keep the event at Castlecoole.
Since the news broke on Wednesday there has been a strong reaction from the local community with many expressing their disappointment at the change of venue. Organisers of the Enniskillen parkrun released this statement this afternoon.
“The last week has been an extremely difficult one for Enniskillen parkrun. We apologise for the lack of clarity and commentary following from the joint parkrun UK / National Trust HQ statement and now wish to add a statement of our own.
No-one is more devastated to be leaving our beautiful venue than us and we have done everything in our power to stay here.
Over the last six months, we have met the National Trust regularly to provide mutual feedback, deal with any arising issues, ensure appropriate communications and general ensure that our relationship with our venue is a productive and positive one. Late in the Spring, the local National Trust management changed their admission policy with regard to parkrun. This policy was in direct conflict with parkrun’s own core principle of every event being free to the parkrunner.
Having taken discussions locally as far as we could take them, negotiations have taken place between parkrun HQ and National Trust HQ. However, the outcome remains the same.
Since a final decision was taken, the Run Director team have worked tirelessly to find a new permanent venue. There are a number of places that we are currently looking at but as you can imagine, this is neither quick nor simple. Fermanagh & Omagh District Council immediately offered us the free use of the Lakeland Forum (our original venue) as either a temporary or permanent home. We are very grateful for their support on this.
We wish to put on record our gratitude to National Trust for allowing us to use Castle Coole for the last 2 years as the venue for one of the best parkruns, thoroughly enjoyed by local and visitors alike, many of whom were or became members of National Trust. We note and applaud also that many National Trust properties in England and Wales are also venues for parkruns. This type of community engagement is very positive, facilitating and promoting well-being and an active healthy lifestyle. It has been a real pleasure to run here, and we know we speak for all runners when we say we will miss the venue greatly.
However, ultimately parkrun is about the people who participate in it, the benefits they gain from such activity and our sense of community. Regardless of where we end up, we firmly believe that this will remain.
The local NT management has made their final decision very clear. We do not think that it’s constructive or positive to continue a public, negative dialogue and so this will be our last comment on this situation.
An enormous thank you to everyone for your expressions of support, and for your ongoing help and encouragement as volunteers and participants. We look positively to the future. Viva la parkrun!”
The statement was signed by
Brendan Rasdale, Caroline McCaffrey, Donal Cox, Finbar Maguire, Martina Comac, Nicola Burchmore and Bryony May
Enniskillen parkrun team
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