Beginner groups help Crossgates Harriers still run after 30 years!


Crossgates Harriers of Leeds who are celebrating 30 years as a club for 2016 recently delivered a beginners' running programme.

In September 2015 they decided to run the sessions aiming at taking people new to running from 0-5k and improvers from 5k-10k, as the club felt that there was a gap which did not cover these distances. The club engaged with over 30 people, who attend weekly social running sessions and also had individual goals set which was overseen by the club's qualified Run Leaders.

Club Secretary Michael Murphy explained, "The progress was amazing and after 8 weeks everybody on the courses reached their goals of either running 5k or 10k without having to stop. This was remarkable in the fact that some of them could not run 100 metres before joining the programme."

The programme has been supported by England Athletics with funding to contribute towards the programme. Nick Settle, EA’s local Club and Coach Support Officer, helped the club access the funds, "Michael contacted me and explained what the club was looking to achieve with the beginner's programme. I thought it was a great idea and wanted to support the initiative. I helped access some local funds to up-skill two new Run Leaders for the club, which gave the leaders knowledge and understand to deliver a successful programme for beginners. I also use explained about the benefits of using Run England as a recruitment and marketing tool, which the club used to great effect."

Michael went on to say, "Since the courses we have taken the 5k runners even further and they are now running up to 10k. The improvers have now joined with our other club runners and making significant progress through our running groups. We are a very proud club for what we have achieved and will be running new courses hopefully in the Spring of 2016."

The club volunteers found it a fantastic experience to pass on their knowledge and experience and see the progress the new runners have made. The club’s membership increased significantly with over 20 people becoming full members from the beginner's programme. The club members feel great to see so many new faces that are happy and enthusiastic, most of the new runners are now entering races and they would never have dreamt of doing only 4 months ago.

  • If you are from the Crossgates area would like any further information about the new beginners' programme please visit the dates will be announced very soon.
  • If your club is in West or North Yorkshire and would like support please contact Nick Settle on and other areas can find their local contact at
  • If you would like to find a local social beginner running group please visit

crossgates harriers logo 

Crossgates_Harriers_beginners300.jpg blurred out