Fitmums founder recognised in New Year's Honours list
31 December 2015
Samantha Barlow is the founder of Fitmums & Friends (F&F) and has helped hundreds of adults and children to take up running and walking. She receives a British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours list.
The running group has expanded from five mums in 2009 to over 200 in 2011.
By 2011 the demand for more F&F groups meant the next natural step was to create the means of helping other F&F groups set up and so she formed Fitmums & Friends Ltd, a not for profit, social enterprise supporting the development of F&F groups in other communities. By 2013 there were an additional three F&F groups across Hull and East Yorkshire.
The group is now also a fully affiliated England Athletics club with registered athletes - there is now also a walking group, a buggy burn session for parents with a child in a buggy, run and walk sessions with childcare, a junior section for children aged 6+ and a scheme to support women with post-natal depression.
Triathlete Chrissie Wellington who is now parkrun's Head of Participation also received an OBE for services to sport and charity.
Our CEO Chris Jones commented, "Our sport, like all sports, is founded on the efforts, expertise and dedication of countless individuals without whom sport, and particularly community sport, in this country would not exist as we know it. These individuals serve as standard bearers for many others who are doing sterling work in many different capacities in athletics and running clubs across England and we thank them all. We are delighted as ever to see such efforts rewarded in this way."