Fitmums and friends SQUARE 500

Fitmums & Friends started quite unintentionally in 2009 when 5 mums responded to an invite in school book-bags to meet me for a run. I was a full time working mum in the NHS and when my eldest child started school I realised I was missing out on making friends in the playground because I wasn’t there to socialise with other parents.  A teacher kindly agreed to pop a note in the bookbags of my son’s class which invited mums/dads to come and meet for a run.  Unknown to me this was the beginning of an incredible journey.  The 5 mums who turned up that night have turned into 600+ men, women and children of all ages and now in 2015 a huge network of activity is spreading even beyond Hull & East Yorkshire.

East Hull Fms at Scarborough 2015 (2)

Fitmums & Friends is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit social enterprise, offering running, fitness walks, buggy sessions, a cycle squad, children’s athletics sessions and even an inter-generational choir. We even have a scheme which offers intensive support for mum’s with post-natal depression.  Membership includes dads, grandparents and friends as well as mums – and has more than 60 volunteer run leaders and athletics coaches.  There are 5 groups in Hull & East Yorkshire (Beverley, Boothferry (@Sirius Academy), Cottingham, East Hull, Hedon) and one in South Yorkshire (Dearne Valley).

Ten to Teens Xmas 2015 700X400

The success of the run sessions is a result of a unique coaching technique to ensure that everyone feels supported and encouraged to keep going, with no-one left behind. “Shepherding” is the term used to explain this feature and it is very strongly embedded in Fitmums & Friends run culture.  It is this that creates the supportive environment and means that no-one ever feels under pressure to run faster than they are able whilst at the same time allowing those at a faster pace to have a run appropriately challenging for their ability.

I have a passion for supporting others and helping them to feel good about themselves and their achievements. For many members their involvement with Fitmums & Friends has literally changed their lives.  I hear incredible stories all the time about how running/walking/cycling and even singing has had such a positive impact.  I am lucky because I have loved sport all my life but I was never very good – always in the “B” team never made the “A” team.  What I love about Fitmums & Friends is that we have truly created something that not only welcomes the “B” team but also those that used to do anything to escape P.E.  I love hearing the stories about people who hated sport at school, never thought they could run then came to Fitmums, started in the 1 mile group and are now doing 10k’s, half marathons.  At the other end we have some good standard runners who have been picked for county events and many good for age marathon runners.   I love the inclusivity – it really does work!

For more information about Fitmums & Friends, visit www.fitmums.org.uk or ring 07870 654586.

Workplace Games Dalby Forest Sept 2015 500X300

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