The Blister Sisters keep coming back for more
19 February 2015
A survey at a local Kent running group gave Hills only 6% of the vote but The Blister Sisters keep coming back for more! And that's down to a positive and encouraging Group Leader.
Two years ago, Kenza Bowman qualified as a Level 1 Run Leader and with support of the RunKent programme (the local version of the national Run England programme), she set up The Blister Sisters, a women's only Run England registered running group in Hythe Kent.
The aim of the group is to break down the barriers women have to running and no one judges anyone else’s abilities or progress. The Group has gone from strength to strength with over 60 regular members.
Kenza is passionate about helping women take up running. In addition to holding down a full time job and a busy family life with 2 small children, she has taken the time to develop her own knowledge and skills. In 2014, she qualified as a Level 2 Running Coach to ensure the Group receive the best coaching and advice possible.
Like all good qualified Coaches, Kenza is keen to ensure her 'Blister Sisters' are getting the most out of her sessions. She recently undertook a survey to find out what her members thought. Here's just a snapshot of their feedback:
- 100% said their running has improved since starting with the Group
- Over 50% are now able to run 5k, 21% over 10k
- Over 50% are keen to improve the distances that they run
- 93% like the variety of the sessions but hills aren't so popular with only 6% of the vote!
- 85% said they'd like to enter more organised races as a Group
So what have the members got to say:
"I really love attending the Group. Kenza is amazing, so positive and encouraging. Just what I need to reach my running goals. Thank you"
"I only joined 3 weeks ago but I love the fact that it's just ladies. I've been made to feel really welcome and it doesn't feel like hard work. It's such a relaxed atmosphere. I'm definitely coming back for more".
"I love coming to the Blister Sister sessions, it's one of the highlights of my week. The Leaders are friendly and encouraging. It's a group which I am very proud and please to be a part of"
"The Group is a fab, enjoyable way of getting people motivated without any pressures or competitiveness. There is a great sense of belonging from all walks of life but with a joint passion for running. Thank you".
Lucy Tomlinson, Run Kent Activator said "Kenza has worked really hard to make The Blister Sisters such a huge success. As a Leader/Coach, it's always useful to get feedback from your members so that you can improve or reassess what you're doing. I knew the runners would say great things about her sessions but it's reassuring for Kenza to know that she's on the right track!"
As a Women-Only Group, Kenza is fully behind the #ThisGirlCan campaign which was recently launched by Sport England.
Kenza said, "I think The Blister Sisters is a great example of what you can achieve with the right support and encouragement. There are a number of women running with us now who were convinced that they ‘couldn’t run’…with a bit of persuasion they gave it a go and the best news is they are still coming back for more!"
She continued, "When I started, I never imagined I'd be a Running Coach with Support Leaders and a Group this size. The women who attend my sessions are 'real' women who are achieving goals that they never thought they would. It makes me very proud to be part of their running journey".
If you'd like to join a women only running group in Kent or set up your own, like Kenza, and help more women take up running, then why not get in touch with Run Kent Activator Lucy Tomlinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your local Run England Running Activator?