Run England volunteers in the South honoured with England Athletics regional awards


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 South 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!

East leader of the year 2013 Vanessa Papworth


Leader of the Year

Winner: Vanessa Papworth

Vanessa (pictured right) is the hard working and inspirational leader of the Chafford Hundred Running Group whose friendly, inclusive and welcoming approach has encouraged many people to get active by taking up running. By organising social activities, fun competitions and meals everyone feels part of the group and through Vanessa’s hard work many of her group have been inspired to enter events and races up to half marathon distance.

Group of the Year

Winner: Chelmsford and Wickford Dynamos

Chelmsford Dynamos started their running group in November 2012, recognising that a safe, sociable and supportive group could re-introduce many people into running. Initially launching two groups for beginners and absolute beginners, a third group was soon added to cater for the improvers. Now a new set of trained group leaders who have all come from the original beginner’s group have replicated the model with Wickford Dynamos – benefitting a whole new community.

Sameera Howard and Mel Anderson with Mick Shortland

Project of the Year

Winner: Active Norfolk and Suffolk Sport Running Project

This Project has made a significant impact to beginner running across the two counties. Delivered through a partnership between the Active Norfolk and Suffolk Sport County Sports Partnerships, and driven by Activator Paul Evans, it has created 130 running groups involving over 2,000 new runners. Paul has engaged with a range of partners to identify and train new leaders, find locations for new groups, secure additional funding and even finds time to lead a number of running groups himself. The groups have been established in community settings, athletics clubs, workplaces, universities and sports clubs.

South East

Leader of the Year

Winner: Monika Yarnell

Air Hostess Monika (pictured top left) started Mums on the Run in Bedgrove earlier this year. The group helps Aylesbury mums regain their fitness in a fun, friendly group atmosphere. Following its success, Monika formed a mixed group with husband John, open to all and based in Aston Clinton, called ‘On the Run’. It attracted 50 members to its first session and has gone from strength to strength since!

Group of the Year

Winner: Coxheath Running Club

Steve Grantham started this inclusive, supportive and fun club which now has more than 250 members of all ages and abilities who enjoy a great social atmosphere at every session.Lucy Tomlinson

Project of the Year

Winner: The Run Kent Project

Over 100 leaders are now involved in the project with 84 groups registered and so far more than 1,500 runners have joined groups. Kent Running Activator Lucy Tomlinson (pictured right) has built up partnerships with a wide range of organisations including local parks and parkruns, athletics clubs, workplaces, leisure centres and sports clubs along with higher/further education organisations to set up groups for students via Sportivate funding. Kent Country Parks have also been involved through the installation of twelve 3-2-1 routes in five parks and Lucy has also teamed up with Kent Athletics Network and supported group leaders with useful workshops which have been a great success.

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