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RunTogether Groups and Leaders show their strengths in their communities with more awards

The RunTogether community has once again supported its own with an abundance of nominations culminating in some of the strongest winners in the 2021 England Athletics Regional Volunteer Awards. Whilst virtual, the 12th annual awards were once again incredibly personal and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate volunteers from across the country. The nominations for our RunTogether categories were higher than ever and below is the list of winners from across the 9 regions.
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North West
• RunTogether Group of the Year – Run Fit Chorley won the Northwest Group of the Year Award. As a group they have consistently improved members mental and physical wellbeing. Supporting each other through online chat groups and participating in virtual quizzes to keep moral high.
• The Northwest Run Leader Award 2021 was awarded to Stuart Isherwood, from Running Lions. Stuart is considered an inspiration to all who know him, competing in back-to-back marathons. Whilst managing the groups weekly training sessions and helping group members towards their fitness goals.

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• RunTogether Group of the year – Worlingham RoadRunnerz. The group welcomes all abilities and has a real sense of community. After a founding member of the group received a cancer diagnoses Worlingham RoadRunnerz organised a ‘wear pink’ event, running in pink outfits and costumes raising £500 for BreastCancer Charity.
• Leader of the Year – Hayley Howard – The East regional Run Leader from Rushmere Community Runners. Hayley’s passion for running and helping others shines through. Hayley supports her members including deaf runners creating a wealth of training resources such as videos with subtitles.

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East Midlands
• RunTogether Group of the year - Woodhall Spa Steamers. Their messages of positivity and encouragement drawn on pavements with chalk throughout their running routes uplifted the local community. Runners also took part in litter picking running routes which lead to the RunTogether Group winning a prize from their local police force.
• Leader of the Year - Tom Shaw - Tom makes himself available to all runners and is always ready to motivate and inspire, Tom also played a major part creating Workshop Harriers virtual 5k series.

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West Midlands
• RunTogether Group of the Year - Penkridge Runners. Their group provide a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and pride themselves on their diversity and inclusion of all ages, genders, and abilities, motivating all and ensuring no runner gets left behind.
• Leader of the Year - Martin Leek from Penkridge Runners. Martin is a passionate and determined coach and Run Leader who has created a great group atmosphere of support and encouragement. Tailoring sessions to meet individual runner’s needs.

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Yorkshire and Humber
• RunTogether Group of the Year - Run Scarborough. They organised a series of challenges including a distance vs elevation challenge. They also staged an endurance race with runners tackling 7 summits raising £6000+ for Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue
• RunTogether Leade of the Year - Josh Taylor from Bridlington Road Runners won the regional Run Leader of 2021 award. Josh exemplifies grit and determination despite the injuries he sustained in a car accident, Josh inspires the juniors he coaches and continually works to improve and increase his knowledge to better his ability as a run leader.

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North East
• RunTogether Leader of the Year – Siomon Lynch. Simon set up Newburn Running Club in 2020 creating a community social club that welcomes runners of all abilities. Simon also leads the group with passion and enthusiasm inspiring members to train as Run Leaders themselves ensuring longevity and succession of the club.

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South East
• RunTogether Group of the Year – West Berkshire. West Berkshire is described as having a family feel. Members looked out for each other throughout the pandemic, organising socially distanced buddy runs and photo competitions.
• RunTogether Leader of the Year – Richard Davis. Richard started an all abilities running group during lockdown, to help runners keep their training consistent. Richard also uses social media to spread motivation and inspiration.

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South West
• RunTogether Group of the Year – Avon Valley Runners. This group was created at the height of the pandemic to give a small group an opportunity to start running again within the restrictions. Word of the group spread, and several groups were formed to cope with demand, enabling members to run their first 5k.
• Run Leader of the Year - Tina Watson – Tina has a relaxed and welcoming approach to being a Run Leader. She inspires members by making sessions accessible and enjoyable creating an atmosphere where runners thrive and surpass their own expectations. Tina also effectively keeps her group connected through WhatsApp groups and sharing their achievements on Strava.

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• RunTogether Group of the Year - Couldson Runners – The London based group Coulsdon Runners have a positive approach & welcoming attitude. Seen as a safe place, no matter your age or ability, the group offer encouragement via social media & in person, with a real community spirit throughout.
• RunTogether Leader of the Year - Ian Farr - 2021 Leader Ian Farr inspired those around him to volunteer & help succeed. Ian’s selfless dedication means grassroots athletics continues to be accessible & has enabled the club to host competition opportunities. Ian set up a series of 5 open meetings allowing 600+ competitors

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