Many England Athletics affiliated clubs and RunTogether groups up and down the country rely on their local streets and green spaces to run their sessions with running being one of the most accessible sports for people to take part in. However, some clubs are now looking to local venues to help facilitate extra varied sessions as is the case for North Yorkshire’s Team Caterpillar.
North Yorkshire is not short of stunning rural landscapes to explore on foot as Team Caterpillar take advantage of in their 13 different sessions each week. From Couch to 5k to hills and intervals, there really is something for everyone.
Working together to provide more opportunities
This year group founder Dionne Torkington-Craven sought to offer even more to her runners and has now introduced a brand-new track night each month. Based in a remote location, there are not many accessible purpose-built athletics facilities in the region, with the closest being Middlesbrough Sports Village some 30 miles away.
To overcome this, Dionne approached the Ministry of Defence (MOD) base at Catterick Garrison to try and create a partnership and give her runners the opportunity to train on the track. Joining forces with Hambleton Athletic Club, Team Caterpillar have agreed an annual paid licence to enable runners from both clubs to train together once per month. As Team Caterpillar are both a RunTogether group and England Athletics affiliated club, they welcome participants of all abilities to the track with an early priority to those registered members.
The partnership doesn’t stop there, as Hambleton Athletic Club provide their qualified Athletics Coach, Chris, who delivers the sessions for the big group.
Speaking on the partnerships, Dionne said:
“It is fantastic to be able to give these new opportunities to the Team Caterpillar runners who would have otherwise not had the chance to train on a track. Our group is all about coming together to support and inspire people to achieve their goals and the extra sessions are really helping us to achieve this.
"The facilities at the Catterick Garrison are great, and we’re really grateful to the MOD for their support. It is not only about enabling runners to try something new on the track, but it’s also about bringing like-minded runners together from the two clubs to all enjoy the sessions together.
“As we only train on the track once per month, we encourage all of our track stars to also take part in our rotating hills and intervals to put into practice the technique and skills they learn at the track sessions.”
Inspiring leaders to take the next step
With more opportunities to train at the track, it seemed a fantastic chance for Team Caterpillar to see whether any of the current leaders wanted to advance their skills and become an Athletics Coach to support Chris from Hambleton AC.
With the course cost a potential barrier, Dionne applied for the recent Club Improvement Fund and secured a grant of £485 to support run leader Doug to progress through to Coaching Assistant and then Athletics Coach. This would not only help Doug on his personal coaching journey, but would also continue to support the club in its development and growth by investing in coaches for the future.