Run England Surrey holds its first workshop for group leaders

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Run England Surrey is keen to support group leaders from across the county and recently held its first Leaders Workshop at Spectrum Leisure Centre, Guildford. 

Ten group leaders took part and benefited from some excellent advice provided by Katharine Jones, regarding organising successful beginner running groups. Katharine is a very experienced group leader herself, having previously coordinated group leaders across Hampshire as well as running her own groups since January 2010.

Katharine covered a wide range of topics including ‘promoting your group’, ‘session planning’, and ‘maintaining interest and enthusiasm over 10 weeks’, and brought the workshop to life with some anecdotes based on her own experience as a successful leader of four groups. 

Some key messages were ‘get your marketing into the home’ Katharine had some postcards printed with some basic information encouraging people to contact her. She delivered them door to door and in local shops, and before she’d even got home, a couple of people had phoned. Another message was ‘keep your runners informed and involved’. Katharine sends out emails after sessions as a follow up, and is very flexible when leading sessions, for example, organises ‘bring your child’ sessions during the school holidays, which enables the parents to run, and encourages the children to be active.

Feedback from group leaders was very positive with nine of the 10 stating the forum was very good or good and all of them wanting to attend more workshops in the future.  Comments regarding what the leaders had learnt and how they were going to use it included “practical advice about starting a running group and how to keep it going”, “separate my beginners into absolute and improvers”, and “ liaise with other leaders/groups”.

In addition to appreciating Katharine’s advice, the leaders commented that it was good to meet other local leaders and to share what their ideas and plans with each other.

Darryl Gheerawo, Run England Activator for Surrey, said “Katharine’s advice has been really helpful and we are all looking forward to putting it into practice.  All of the Leaders have, or are in the process of, registering their groups on the Run England website and are keen to be involved in the Run England Surrey beginner running programme being funded by Active Surrey and Sport England”.
For more information on Run England Surrey please contact Darryl Gheerawo, Active Surrey Activator or Louise Milne Run England Area Coordinator

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