Skelmersdale Running Club formed in Spring 2023, starting out with one small group and one session per week. The number of people attending club nights increased at a much faster rate than the club anticipated.
They wanted to become a reputable, well organised running club with firm policies and procedures in place, and replicate a proven structure that been so successful for other running clubs in England.
Good governance underpinned using Club Standards
Founder and chair of the club Kevin Walker explains how they prioritised good governance as the foundation of the club.
"We wanted to be more than just a group of friends that met up for a run together. We wanted to inspire others to take a positive step and experience the world of running. Our founding members agreed the club needed a solid foundation and structure to gain credibility from potential members that wanted to join our new running club."
Following England Athletic Club Standards guidelines, the Running Club were able to designate key roles to members, form a committee and formalise the club’s constitution.
"We wanted to start the club with a good set of values, good governance and offer a duty of care to all members and volunteers."
By following the affiliation guidance, utilising resources and a lot of hard work in the background from a dedicated team of club volunteers and their England Athletics Club Support Manager, two months after forming, Skelmersdale Running Club have now become an affiliated club.
"Becoming affiliated to England Athletics and following the seven Club Standards guidelines have played a huge part in our growth of our club. I would recommend it to any new running or athletics clubs - the short and long-term benefits will be worth it for their club, its volunteers, and its members."
And becoming an affiliated club has positive financial results too. As memberships grew, the demand for more Run Leaders increased but there were only limited club funds.
The club applied for the Club Improvement Fund to help towards paying for Leadership in Running Fitness (LiRF) training for three members who were keen to volunteer on club nights. They have since gained their Run Leader qualifications, can confidently lead groups and are enjoying their new roles at club.
Luke Wills, founding member and club secretary noted:
Find out about Club Standards Discover the benefits of Club affiliation
"Having more Run Leaders on board allows us to provide safe, well-planned, and enjoyable club runs. It also gives our volunteers the flexibility to have rest weeks, rotate between groups and focus on other volunteer roles."