Ladies Running Groups: South Ribble

This paper examines the increasingly popular activity of group running. Active Lancashire carried out an evalaution of two running groups deemed as 'successful' within the South Ribble district of Lancashire.

Key Findings:

  • Most common age ranges of groups found to be between 35-44 and 45-54 years.
  • Most popular reasons for joining found to be; health benefits, meeting new friends and Enjoyment.
  • Most members found to have little experience of running prior to joining (running at school often last time).
  • Most members revealed feeling apprehensive prior to joining due to; meeting group for the first time and worrying about their running ability.
  • Members often felt more comfortable joining if they could bring a friend or had a familiar face already at the group.
  • Low cost and lack of contract was a big incentive.
  • Huge benefit to running was; being able to distress away from work and family life.
  • The social aspect of the groups was a key factor in attending and committing to sessions.
  • Setting goals and reaching targets these was found to be a big part of running, such goals ranged and could be running a few meters or a marathon. (All goals set were deemed as significant and supported by all members within the groups).
  • Coaches and leaders were found to be a huge factor in keeping the club running and members motivated.
    New leaders were found to be in demand.
  • New leader's confidence and self-belief in taking groups was found to be an issue.
  • Social Networking sites such as Facebook were found to be a great means of communication between members.
  • Individuals discovering the run groups via; work colleagues, neighbours, friends and visibility of club kits at events.
  • With regards to progressing with running: flexibility was found to be important in retaining members.

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