England Athletics regional awards honour Run England volunteers in the North


The Run England Awards have once again been an important part of the England Athletics Regional and National Awards - supported by Sweatshop, Athletics Weekly and the AAAs.

The Awards have given us the opportunity to reward the contributions and commitment to running these people have shown over the past 12-month period.

Last week saw volunteers from across the country honoured to celebrate their service to the sport at the England Athletics Hall of Fame and National Volunteer Awards night.

The Awards programme began with nine English Regional Awards with three Run England categories: Leader of the Year; Group of the Year; and Project of the Year.

This year's regional awards for the three regions in the North have now all been presented and we are delighted to announce the winners below. Thanks to everyone who made nominations this year, and congratulations to the well-deserved winners!

North East

The 2013 Run England North East Regional Awards took place on Friday 11 October at Gateshead International Stadium. 

Leader of the Year

Winner: Luke Adams

Runner up: David Savage

Luke (pictured below right with runner-up David of SeafRUNt Smilers) started running to help him recover from meningitis which he had in 2007. After qualifying as a group leader he started his own group and has now trained more than 150 people! He has also held seminars, volunteers as event director for the South Shields parkrun, has raised over £400 for Meningitis Research Foundation, completed the Bupa Great North Run in an excellent 70 minutes and is now on the England Athletics Local Coach Development Programme.

North East Groups Awards 2013

Group of the Year

Winner: Run Consett

Runner up: SeafRUNt Smilers

Set up in March 2012, Run Consett attracts 100+ runners every week. Follow the group on Twitter @ConsettRun.

Project of the Year

Winner: Move4Life

Runner up: Mums on the Run

The Move4Life project has only recently come to life as it moves on from the 2012 winning CPAL programme as delivered and driven by Run England Activator Sarah Watson.

North West

England Athletics Financial Director Kevan Taylor presented the Run England North West Awards at David Lloyd Leisure Club in Chorley on 14 October.

Leader of the Year

Winner: Louise Shannon

With a background in fitness, nutrition and health Lou combines her industry experience and job as a food and health officer to support her Plodding community to make positive lifestyle changes to improve their overall wellbeing. She also writes a nutrition blog for Run England!

Group of the Year

Winner: Plodders

Lou set up Plodders (pictured top left) in Halton in April 2012 with the support of Sport Cheshire through the Run England programme.

Project of the Year

Winner: Run Wirral

Since 2012 Run Wirral has had at least 325 new runners and since January 2012 there have been at least 2,600 attendances through then project. There are now 10 weekly sessions with one linked with Wallasey Athletics Club. The project is looking to start an early morning session and a ‘larger persons get into running’ group in the quiet setting of a local cemetery to offer privacy to runners who want to start running but have confidence issues about running on the streets. Run Wirral also has a thriving social scene and its Facebook page has more than 300 ‘likes’!

Yorkshire and Humberside

England Athletics Financial Director Kevan Taylor presented the Run England Yorkshire and Humberside Awards at Brighouse Sports Club on Wednesday 16 October.

Yorkshire group of the year 2013 Stride Out

Leader of the Year

Winner: Bev Bellaby

Bev set up a running group for each group of friends she had – one in Rodley, two in Colton and one in Chapel Allerton. Leeds has a diverse range of needs and Bev has tailored her sessions accordingly, as well as recorded members and attendance using Run England’s online system.

Group of the Year

Winner: Stride Out

Formed in 2009 by Gaye Fletcher and Andrea Barber (pictured above left), Stride Out has 160+ runners and four group leaders. They organise a number of weekly sessions and a Monthly Running Challenge as well as quarterly social nights and opportunities for members to enter races. The group is looking to set up a Mini Strideout! group for parents and children.

Project of the Year

Winner: Fitmums & Friends

Fitmums & Friends has grown from its beginnings of three mums who set up a group from school to four distinct clubs in the Hull & East Riding area with a total of eight sessions per week including three with childcare, two walking sessions and one ‘buggy burn’ session. The groups now have more than 250 members. The project caters for everyone, but also runs an innovative scheme to support women with post natal depression.

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