Dedicated group leader doesn't let 'dodgy knees' spell the end!
29 June 2013
Sharron Rooney may have hung up her running shoes, but her love of the sport means that she continues to create opportunities for others to run, in her home of Walthamstow, NE London.
Sharron is a lady who likes a challenge! To date, she has completed an impressive 12 marathons and over 70 half marathons, not to mention innumerable 5 and 10Ks. Now injury - or “dodgy knees” to use Sharron’s technical term - has forced her to stop running. But with her commitment to the sport undiminished Sharron has set about to inspire people in her community to take up running. As she puts it, “I can never run again due to a knee injury but I can still be involved with my passion and help others to enjoy the benefits of running.”
Sharron’s vision is to “promote a healthier lifestyle for people of all running abilities within the borough”. To do this she has harnessed the combined forces of parkrun, Run England, GLL and Waltham Forest’s Run! Activator Shaun Medlen, to create an integrated running offer in the borough.
Sharron had already been involved in the running of parkrun in Mile End as a race director, but wanted “a new challenge to set one up from scratch, and to nurture it and watch it grow into a successful and fun Parkrun.” With organisational help from Shaun Medlen and with premises provided by GLL at the Peter May Leisure Centre, Sharron’s Walthamstow parkrun had its first event on Saturday January 19th 2013 with over 60 runners attending.
But Sharron knows that one 5K every Saturday is not enough to get her borough running. That is why she has qualified as a group leader and is planning to set up two running groups – one group for women only and one mixed group – at the Peter May Leisure Centre.
So with two new Run England groups and a new parkrun set up, Sharron is all set to make a massive difference to people of all running abilities in her borough. But don’t think that Sharron is stopping there! As she explains: “It is my aspiration to set up a running club and one of my ambitions has been to organise a large scale run such as a marathon or half marathon! What about a Walthamstow half marathon! We could start and finish at the Peter May Sports Centre. Now that would be fun!
Watch out Walthamstow!