2020 Volunteer Award winners recognised at 2021 England Athletics Hall of Fame event
25 October 2021
The England Athletics Hall of Fame and National Volunteer Awards were held at the NEC on 23 October. Four of the awards went to RunTogether groups or Leaders:
Run Leader of the Year Award: Julie Smith - Quarrington Hill Runners (North East region)
Since starting her RunTogether group in January 2019, Julie Smith has gone on to build a team of Run Leaders who share her passion for running and ethos of making the group a safe place for people to get some time for themselves, make new friends and get fitter at the same time. The close-knit group support one another to achieve their individual running goals. Julie has provided a much-needed community activity for people living in remote and isolated parts of County Durham.
She told us: "I was very humbled to receive the award and amazed to see what a difference our club has made to its members. Thank you for inviting me to the evening - I’m having an amazing time."
RunTogether Group of the Year Award: Team Caterpillar (Yorkshire & Humberside region)
Team Caterpillar is a true RunTogether group because equal emphasis is placed on being together and on the running. The group fosters a supportive atmosphere that transcends running and spills over into the everyday lives of its members. At Team Caterpillar there is always someone there to listen, advise, console or celebrate, which gives its members the confidence to chase running goals they may otherwise never have dreamed possible.
Dionne Torkington is the director of Team Caterpillar,
"I’m so proud to be the 2020 winner. I’d like to thank England Athletics and RunTogether for the support and opportunities. Oh and I love the Run Leader App; it makes my life so easy."
Athletics and Running @home: RunTogether Ossy Joggers (North West region)
Recognising the contribution made during the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout lockdown the Community running club RunTogether Ossy Joggers organised virtual runs and family orientated challenges to help others to get out of the house and complete some exercise. The random acts of kindness have also provided support to others: packets of sunflower seeds, cakes, toilet rolls, flowers and socks are some examples of items left on the doorsteps of other runners as a gift.
Sally Woods received the award on behalf of the Ossy Joggers.
She said: "The hardest step is out the front door – and if you can do that you can do anything."
Young Volunteer of the Year Award: Thomas Lewis - RunTogether Run Wild Manchester (North West region)
Thomas Lewis has volunteered hundreds of hours of his time run leading for Run Wild Manchester (based out of the University of Manchester). He organised every weekly session which saw a regular attendance of 100+. During lockdown Tom made sure the club continued to be active, hosting quizzes, encouraging runners to write run reports and filming/editing virtual parkrun videos. Tom has been at the forefront of making the club more social, especially as loneliness can be a huge issue at university.
Thomas told us: "I’m very grateful to be invited here and to receive the award. I couldn’t have done it without my RunTogether group Run Wild Manchester and my amazing Run Leaders."