Leeds Frontrunners are finding their feet
21 December 2015
The first LGBT running group in Leeds is finally taking off after four years of trying through social media.
Andrew Frazer, 48, a financial services employee thought up the idea back in 2011. After creating a Facebook group and inviting some people to come for a run.
“It started off ok, but I struggled to build a regular group of people who wanted to run each week. I was doing everything alone at the time and eventually everything just fizzled out, after I was unable to organise a run for a few consecutive weeks”
After a few years, one post revitalised the page when a member posted, simply asking if anyone wanted to join them for a run down by the canal.
Cities such as Newcastle and Manchester already have LGBT groups set up and Leeds Frontrunners is now another to add to the ever-growing list.
Nigel Whelan, 46, a Mental Health Professional originally from Dublin and regular runner with the group said: “It’s a great way to for people from the LGBT community to try a sport and get to meet people who also have a shared interest.” Nigel, one of the very first members of the group, added: “The group’s main ethos is about acceptance of difference and breaking down stereotypes.”
Leeds Frontrunners now regularly run in a group of around ten, 9am each Saturday morning at Roundhay Park in Leeds.
Claire Senior, 37, a Personal Trainer said: “It doesn't matter what level of runner you are, everyone is made to feel very welcome. I would like to see the club continue to grow in numbers and be known for being the most friendly and welcoming running club in Leeds, The UK, The World!”
The group now has a committee set up, giving Andrew the help he needs to continue making the group a success. The main aim is to improve the group making it everything its members want to be. Claire added: “I would like to see it continue to help people get into running/exercise or help them get back into running after a hiatus. I am also excited about the prospect of the group organising races and events - especially to support Leeds Pride.”
The group are also now registered with Run England and listed in our Run England Find a Group directory, to be considered a social but serious running group that can enter competitions in its own right.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Executive member for health, wellbeing and adults at Leeds City Council said: “The Council is keen to encourage sport and physical activity opportunities for everyone and breaking down barriers to participation is an important part of this. The City is very proud of the broad and varied community sport sector and I very much welcome Leeds Front Runners developing in Leeds.”
So, four years after its conception, Leeds Frontrunners founder Andrew Frazer is seeing all of his hard work begin to pay off.