Support through Sport UK spoke to Club Chair Erika Fitzgibbon about WOMEN RUNNING PENARTH.
 
Hi Erika. When was your club formed and, on setting up the club, what was the vision?
 
WOMEN RUNNING PENARTH was formed in June 2011. The vision was to allow women to combine a fitness activity (which could be undertaken in a safe and nurturing environment) with a chance to widen their social network. Our hope was that our members would achieve some personal goals on the way.
 
Is your club open to both beginners and more serious runners?
 
WOMEN RUNNING PENARTH has a wide range of groups - right from groups for absolute beginners with no previous running experience all the way up to marathon training groups.
 
Do you have members of all ages?
 
We have women from around 21 to 60+ - whatever your age, there's a group to suit you.
 
What sort of terrain do you train on?
 
In the summer, it's fields and tracks and in the winter - pavements. 
 
What sort of sessions do you offer?
 
Each session lasts an hour and includes a warm-up and cool-down period (it being very important to stretch the used muscles). We have interval sessions, pyramid sessions, fartlek, relays, endurance, fun runs, strength training for specific running muscles, upper body strength training and we also run event specific sessions - e.g. half marathon  / marathon training.
 
Is there a good social side to your club? Can you give examples of some recent events?
 
Yes there is. Recent socials have included a fundraising tea party, a fundraising 'pub run', a Christmas party and a first anniversary run and party. Also, we often have group meals after races and we sometime have meals for specific occasions - e.g. a member's birthday, a Hen Do etc. Once a year we have a club 5k fun run.
 
Why would you encourage women to lace up their trainers and get running?
 
It's time away from 'it all'. Running and chatting with other women can give you a new perspective on things and you get to have a good laugh. Running is a sport that you can do alone in your home area but also whilst away on holiday - and it incurs little expense. Running in a club encourages you to run regularly and this makes it easier to keep it up. The encouragement, camaraderie and variety that you can only really get from a group environment keeps you motivated and progressing. Meeting like-minded women at clubs is a great way of finding running partners for your own runs outside club sessions - which then become safer.
 
Many thanks for taking the time to talk to Support through Sport UK, Erika.
 
Club: Women Running Penarth
Contact: Secretary - Lynne Hathaway; 07843 278032; lynne_hathaway@hotmail.com
Brief Description: We are a running club for women of all ages with sessions for all ablilities (including novices) led by UK Athletics trained leaders. We enjoy the social side as much as getting fitter in the process. £2 a session (sessions: daytime and evening - see website).