CEO club visit - Lawley Running Club

England Athletics Chief Executive Chris Jones headed along for a run at the Telford based club and met volunteers and club members.

Chris was joined by Dean Hardman, England Athletics’ Head of Business Partnerships and Major Events. The two headed out with two of the different groups on offer to meet different people and enjoy different sessions.

The club have groups catering for Faster than 8:30 miling (Sub 26:35 5k), 8:30 to 9:30 miling (26:35 to 29:45 5k), 9:30 to 10:30 miling (29:45 to 32:55 5k) and also for those 10:30 per mile or slower.

Session include runs, coached track sessions, hill work and other speed work. While the club operates its groups based on pacing when groups head out for runs they also have the faster group members ‘loop’ during sessions meaning that the faster runners in any group loop back and head around to the back of the group again, this keeps the group together and also means the faster runners run slightly further while keeping the pack together.

After the session Chris, Dean and members of the club headed to a local pub to talk about the club, running and other topics.

Starting off from a group of people running together this has evolved into a formal and structured England Athletics affiliated club which has retained its emphasis on people enjoying the sport in a friendly and welcoming environment.

England Athletics Chief Executive, Chris Jones, said, “It was great for Dean and I to visit Lawley Runners, who in many ways typify the exciting growth in running across England during the last decade.

“The club has emerged from a smaller, informal gathering of friends and runners only a few years before into a vibrant, competitive club which still places friendship and enjoyment at the heart of its ethos.

“The club offered organised running opportunities for all abilities and the group runs on offer catered for us in an inclusive and social form which was all the more enjoyable.

“It was great to be able to enjoy a social training run on the night we were at the club and to listen to members talk about their personal running journey.”

Lawley Running Club Chairman, Andy Crozier, commented, “We are really lucky to have such a committed team of volunteers helping support the club, they give up their time to help arrange run leaders, to start new couch to 5k groups and organise fundraising events.

“When I started the club it was about getting out there, having fun and enjoying running with your mates, and even thought we are over 200 members now we still focus on the fun side of it all.”

The club is also having a positive impact on the wider community through the opportunities it gives people. Ben Harper, Senior Partnership Manager at Energize Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, commented, “The growth of Lawley Running Club is incredible to see, they have grown their volunteers, committee and presence in the community quickly and with great impact.

“I think their commitment to their governance and their focus on making a welcoming club for all has been a major part in their growth and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them and their members.”