St Helen's Couch to 5k Programme continues to grow

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St Helen’s council have now started their 6th Couch 2 5k programme.  Over 1000 people have gone through the past five programmes with most of those participants completing the full 10 weeks.  Around 150 people have completed their first parkrun including a family (grandparents/mum/daughter) who all do it together. 

People have come into the programme who are in remission form breast cancer and who are looking to get fit again.  Other participants have included a lady who was referred to the team suffering from really bad anxiety and she successfully completed the programme.

One lady from a previous programme who went to parkrun joined the Rainhill Plodders - run by Sports Development Officer Gemma Webster - and has since joined Knowsley Harriers and competed several races!  Other progressions include ladies who feel confident enough after the Couch 2 5k programme to join local community groups. 

Several of the participants who have completed the programme have been funded by St Helen’s Council to complete the Leadership in Running Fitness course as well as upskilling coaches/leaders at the council’s existing run groups and clubs to prepare for new people coming in.

The Sports Development team goes above and beyond to ensure all their participants are happy with the progression and exit packs are provided for everyone who completes the programme with details of local running groups in the St Helen’s area, flyers of any local races and events, information on linking with the health trainers who provide free health checks (weight/BMI/blood pressure).

Gemma Webster from the St Helen’s Council Sports Development Team recently bumped into a previous participant who was running the Southport Half Marathon and it’s thanks to the programme that she’s now got her running confidence.  England Athletics' Merseyside Activator Nikki Holding will continue to liaise with Gemma to ensure that existing groups continue to grow and become sustainable as well as developing new ones linked to their running programmes.

Keep up the good work Gemma and team!

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