Meet the Amazing Female Run Leaders from Dunstable Road Runners
Posted: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 15:22 by Miss Michelle Morris
As part of the Women and Coaching Project; Reach into teamBEDS&LUTON the County Sport Partnership awarded Dunstable Road Runners (DRR) a bursary to help support 2 of their female runners become run leaders. The running club implemented a beginners running programme; couch to 5k over a 10 week period to encourage more runners to join the running club and get involved. The impact was overwhelming and doubled the size of the club from 60 members to 120 members. This was fantastic for the running club but meant there weren't enough leaders to cope with the extra groups required. For instance the club has certain minute mile groups from 7 minutes through to 12 minutes with leaders required to run these week in, week out. The lovely ladies that were keen to become qualified for this were Paula Kearney and Shelah Surgey and here are their stories.
Paula Kearney has been running for nearly 4 years even though she has bad asthma. The running does actually help her condition. Paula is a full time working mother who is constantly on the go and before she started at the running club couldn't even run 100 metres but has run London Marathon this year! Paula was so grateful for all the support and encouragement received from Dunstable Road Runners she wanted to give something back. She attended the Leadership in Running Fitness Course (LiRF) and loved every minute of this learning so much to take back to the sessions. Paula now uses her qualification to lead a mixture of abilities and ages; beginners and people returning from injury/illness even a new member with Multiple Sclerosis. Paula really enjoys leading and since achieving the qualification has led every 3 weeks. Paula says, 'It is really satisfying to be able to help others and support them in all ways. The sense of achievement not just from your own running but others is fab, many have gone from not being able to run to raising vast amounts for charities competing in various events.'
Shelah Surgey is 54 years old and was widowed in 2014. Shelah used to spend a lot of time outdoors bird watching with her husband so missed being outside when he passed. Shelah said 'I joined the beginners group at DRR, having never run before, and found a passion for running that also helped with my mental and physical well-being. I had a TIA almost 2 years ago so running is even more important to me now. I ran my first marathon earlier this year.' Shelah decided to become a leader to support other runners and improve her own running also. She would recommend this qualification to other females, 'I found doing the course quite empowering and gained a lot of confidence which I can use when leading and running. I am not your typical runner but feel it has enabled me to be a good role model for women runners.'
If these stories have inspired you to get involved in participating or becoming a leader/coach or activator then please get in touch with the Coaching Development Manager, Michelle Morris at teamBEDS&LUTON, email@example.com or 01582 813765 to discuss the women and coaching project further.