Run England East Region Awards!



The effort and commitment from those involved in Run England groups over the last year has been rewarded at the England Athletics East Region Awards.

Three awards for Leader, Group and Project of the Year were presented by Louise Milne, Area Coordinator for Run England.

Jayne Hayward of Hadleigh New Beginners Running Group was the Leader of the year for the East Region. Jayne was inspired to go on the Leadership in Running Fitness course after her husband had started a beginner group in 2010. Having qualified, she began her own group in January this year, and in the first week had over 40 people turn up! Realising that there is huge demand for beginner running, she secured a grant from Active Essex to fund 11 people from her club, Castle Point Joggers, to attend the run leaders course. She has then gone on to mentor these new leaders to help them start their own beginner groups across south east Essex. Many of the new runners have gone on to join the club as full members, which demonstrates how well the scheme can work with existing running clubs.

In order to motivate her new runners, she organised a 5k run at the end of the first 10 week beginner course to see how much their times had improved, and even baked everyone cupcakes to celebrate their achievement!

This Run England group leader has inspired more than 50 people to take up running during this Olympic year – a great example of the 2012 legacy in action!

Jayne is passionate about running and loves leading her groups. She said: “The most rewarding part is seeing how close friendships have been made amongst the group, and to see people’s positive attitudes”.

Hethersett Beginners Group won the Run England Group of the Year. The village, in Norfolk, has been very proactive in promoting the Olympics and organising activities and events for the community, to celebrate 2012.  In fact they were rewarded for their commitment to the Olympics when the Olympic torch was brought to the village, a change to its original route.

Peter Steward, member of the Hethersett Sports Association decided that an ideal way of supporting the olympic legacy, was to start a beginner running group. The group was initially supported by Paul Evans, Run Activator for the county, along with group leader Ron Marsh, and is part of the Norfolk Running Project. The RE group was quickly very popular with over 30 runners taking part each week. Their goal was to take part in ‘Run the Square’ – a two mile fun run for the whole community which took place during the Village Olympic weekend celebrations. Every new runner achieved their goal, by completing the run without stopping.

Such was the success of the first beginner programme, that one of the group decided to train to become a group leader and has taken the group from strength to strength, with it now being a regular part of village life.

The SchoolRun was the Run England project of the year for the East Region and the award was collected by Hayley Pegg who organised and administered the whole project.

This project was started in April by Active Essex, Southend West SSP & Active Life. It was set up so that parents could drop their children at school and then join a beginners running group.

Each session started with the participants meeting the Run England group leader at the school gates. One leader said: “These sessions have been a fantastic way of encouraging parents to enjoy the benefits that running can bring; Fresh air, socialising, increased fitness and unfortunately plenty of rain!”

The sessions were advertised with posters and the schools were proactive in distributing leaflets to every child. The project proved to very popular with 10 schools taking part across Southend and over 80 parents getting involved.

Parents not only enjoyed the running, but they toned up, made new friends and built grew in self confidence. Schools say that the project is a great chance for parents to get active and to encourage their children to stay active. 

Although set up as school-based groups, some continued in the holidays and more groups have been set up this term. Most significantly, many of the participants have now booked to take part in the Southend 10k... and most of these were new to running.

The SchoolRun has gone from strength to strength with requests for a Staff Run, Family Run and Buggy Run, so Hayley has lots to do and will be able to get many more people running in and around Southend!

Congratulations to all of the winners!

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