Congrats to London volunteer award winners


Monday 16th November saw the London region gather once again at the award winning ‘Institute of Sport Exercise and Health’.

England Athletics CEO Chris Jones joined National council chair Tony Shiret and London Co-Chair Peter Crawshaw in present the evenings awards. Included in the awards were Participation Project of the Year and Run England Group of the Year.

Participation Project of the year winner: GoodGym 

The GoodGym project in London is probably one of the most unique participation projects going.  Established by Ivo Gormley in 2009 initially in Tower Hamlets, the project has now spread across 9 boroughs in London and also wider into England (Bristol and Bath). It's a blend of health, physical activity (running) and social well-being. The aim of the project is to train up a local ambassador with a LiRF or CiRF qualification who can lead on the project in the borough, they then engage with locals to run to keep fit by doing good deeds in the local community. 
Including volunteering projects, meeting with vulnerable adults and OAPs, and generally binding local communities. Engaging with hundreds of new runners, across 9 London boroughs, they operate an engaging and sustainable programme.
Those of us here last year will remember the short film we showed last year made by GoodGym – if you weren’t here then it is definitely worth seeking out.

Run England Group of the year: Bexley Runfit – Aishah Safdar

The Bexley RunFit women’s indoor running group sessions started last September, funded by a Sport England Sportivate grant, as an opportunity for women who may not be able to or want to run or take part in running fitness sessions outdoors. 
The sessions are delivered by Aishah Safdar, a member of the local Muslim community, who started as a participant in the group, completed the Leadership in Running Fitness course in October along with her sister-in-law, and now as a volunteer leads the sessions. 
Following a change in venue earlier this year, a number of new participants have started attending on a regular basis particularly from the local Muslim community, and during this year’s Ramadan, sessions continued on a lower intensity level, so that participants who were fasting could still attend.
Aishah did not have any previous running or fitness qualifications and has worked hard to increase her knowledge and successfully establish the sessions in the local community.

Chris Jones said on the evening: “Thank you all for inviting me last night to be a part of the presentation celebrations and for delivering an excellent evening. I thought each presentation was varied and extremely interesting to learn more about, and in some cases very emotional, which illustrated why such events are important and mean so much to people.”

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