Giving running a healthy boost - Sally Gunnell blog
03 October 2012
Former Olympic Champion Sally Gunnell has been working to encourage more people to get active by joining our registered 'Royal Caribbean Runners' running groups in London and the South East. Here she gives her latest thoughts on being involved in the project...
"Since winning gold in Barcelona, a huge part of my post-Olympics career has been dedicated to encouraging people to get more active in their day-to-day lives. And to tell the truth, it’s a challenge that is considerably harder than being a competitive athlete.
Getting up come rain or shine to train, sticking to a rigorously enforced diet and forgoing nights out with friends are just some of the less glamorous aspects of international competition. But I was prepared to endure these hardships for purely selfish reasons – I wanted to win and wanted to be acknowledged as the best in my field.That’s a carrot you can’t dangle in front of most people. Professional sportsmen and women might love their chosen path, but they know they have to put the work in like any other job. Getting others to take up sport for the fun of it is another matter entirely.
I’ve just helped launch the expansion of a campaign spearheaded by Sport England and cruise line Royal Caribbean International to get more people involved in running across the South East counties of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire in registered Run England groups.The registered groups, known as Royal Caribbean Runners groups see individuals take part in a 12 week programme that I hope will improve health in a fun and supportive environment. There are some fantastic incentives to aid motivation and the groups are open to anyone, regardless of ability.
Those involved in grassroots sport know how much of a thankless task it can be, and how finding funding can be a real battle. That’s why I’m so happy to lend my support.
As a cruise, line Royal Caribbean has built much of its recent success on the sporting facilities aboard its ships (think rock climbing walls, ice rinks, state-of-the-art gyms and surf simulators). The company is also now investing to support the running project.
If you’re one of those people that has always wanted to get a bit fitter but been worried about taking that first step, give Royal Caribbean Runners some thought. All abilities and ages are welcome and you are sure to find people just like you. Who knows, the groups may even uncover some future Olympians!If you’re interested in finding out more information or want to see if there are already running groups where you live I encourage you to check out www.royalcaribbean.co.uk/runners and take the first step to healthy and active living."