Last years St Theresa’s Athletic Club celebrated it’s 30th Anniversary. It’s always been a small, friendly group of people. Today, the club can no longer be classed as small. In the whole of Yorkshire and Humberside the club showed the 2nd largest percentage increase.

The secret of success? Undoubtedly, the friendly welcome and support of all it’s members. No one is left to run on their own. Last year some members decided that they wanted to spread their love of running, exercising and keeping fit. The result, a staggering increase of over 70 new members.

Qualified leaders and voluntary helpers joined to help course instructor, Graham Shooter, deliver a Beginners Course at the beginning of April 2013 in Temple Newsam Park. ‘I was overwhelmed with the response and how they stuck at it. Some haven’t run for 25 years or more!’ Initially the programme was designed as a 12 week walk / run programme. The aim was to encourage participants to achieve 30 minutes running without stopping. Not going for distance but merely to be able to keep running for that time. 20 proud ‘graduates’ achieved their aim. Sam said ’Who’d have thought that 9 months later I’d be out on a cold February night with new friends and would have run many 5 k’s and 3 10k’s?’ Those that didn’t achieve it in the 12 weeks or joined mid-course carried on in order to achieve their goal. Claire said ’I’d tried the gym and running on my own but there’s something about running with other friendly people that spurs you on.’

Each week participants met together with a large group of STAC runners who met for a fitness class at the same time. Sessions culminated by all mingling together to cool down.

The Temple Newsam parkrun (a free 5k run, each Saturday morning at 9.00am in Templenewsam) was catalytic in helping STAC to spread their enthusiasm amongst other runners. This enthusiasm has been infectious. Kelly enthused ‘I never thought in a million years I would enjoy it so much. Fantastic! Heaps of new friends. A massive thank you for being so welcoming’ STAC are proud to include all abilities and ages. 17 year olds and 4 over 60’s now enjoy the Thursday Fitness sessions.

Starting on Thursday the 10th April 2014 STAC are re launching another Beginner’s course. It will be in Templenewsam Park and meeting at The Lodge Gate car park at 6.30pm. Details of how to apply as a beginner and of all STAC training times are to be found at sttheresasac.org.uk. Informal information is on their Facebook page.

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