RUNNING in Redditch has received a boost after the borough council secured funding to train more community coaches.

Anyone who wants help to start up their own running group can now go on a special Leadership in Running Fitness course at no cost – in return for holding a free course of ‘Couch to 5k’ running sessions – after a £5,000 funding award from Run England, the official England Athletics recreational running project.

Head of leisure and cultural services, John Godwin, said: “We want to help as many people get running as possible, and an important part of that is providing support and training so that people in the community can run their own events – whether that’s for friends and family or on a wider basis.

“This course provides the skills needed to deliver fun and safe sessions to groups of runners with different abilities, including new runners and those who already run but want to progress.

“If you have discovered running as part of our Couch to 5K programme or simply love running, please get in touch and find out how you could set up your own club. Help pass your experiences on to others, so that they can make their own success stories.”

Couch to 5k are structured nine-week running programs for absolute beginners. They include downloadable podcasts designed to structure each run with music and coaching to develop running technique, speed and stamina progressively over time. They are also supported by the NHS.

Many of the over 130 people that took part in the last Couch to 5K course in Redditch accomplished their goal and went on to complete the Sport Relief Mile at Arrow Valley Lake in March. That group continues to run weekly, meeting at the Abbey Stadium Sundays at 10am. It now costs just £1.50 to run with the qualified coach who varies the workout from week to week.

The latest course began on Sunday, April 20 and will lead into Race for Life on Sunday, June 15 – the final week of the course.

For more information, contact Hayley Gwilliam in the borough council’s sports development team, on or 01527 881404.