The Yare Valley Churches running club was set up right at the start of the third national lockdown in January this year, using the app called Strava which enabled runners to track and time their runs, but also see other people’s runs, as well as motivate and encourage each other.
Once it was all up and running, the group set themselves a challenge to run 500km as a collective, in just one week, with the target of raising £500 for a local charity. Progress was tracked on the Strava group, and the runners went above and beyond in both their fundraising efforts and their distances. The group ended up covering 800Km and almost trebling their fund-raising target.
Tom Woods, Sports Minister at Yare Valley Churches explains:
“We had various plans to start up several different sporting activities, but with restrictions and lockdowns it became increasingly difficult to plan and organise. As a church we were and still are very keen to still have a real positive impact in the community using sport as well as many other avenues, and so we started up the running club online.
“The running group has turned into a real community for people of all ages and abilities, with currently 23 members. With restrictions being slightly relaxed recently we were excited to meet and run as a group for the first time. The run was met with really positive feedback, with lots of excitement around the use of the Churches’ new catering pod which served drinks and cakes after the event. We’re hoping to do a similar event at some point in the near future.”
Tom was also invited by Brundall Primary School to run various football-themed provisions during National football week at the end of May. Activities included football-based PE Lessons, lunchtime tournaments, assemblies as well as a skill challenge for all the children to take part in. This was also linked to the National Schools Against Racism Campaign, which involved some very well decorated posters, more football skills, learning more about racism alongside values such as respect, inclusion, and valuing everyone.
The Yare Valley Churches comprises the three parish churches of Braydeston, Brundall and Postwick.