TWO Leamington runners are jumping for joy after being announced as finalists for the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards.
All-female running group Run Like a Girl began for complete beginners in July 2015 but it has now grown beyond anything founders Lauren Gregory and Rebecca Chumun could have imagined.
From the 23 women who turned up for the first session, some 800 women have gone through their ‘couch to 5K’ beginners course.
The pair have been shortlisted for the Community Award which recognises individuals who have actively engaged with different groups of women within their community through sport.
Lauren said: “What an incredible honour it is to have been nominated for this prestigious award. Rebecca and I are humbled by the incredible support and gratitude shown by not only the wonderful members of Run Like a Girl, but also their friends and family who have witnessed their running journey with us.
“The unconditional support and camaraderie among this group of ladies is what defines the strength and union of our running circle.
“We simply provide a safe and friendly platform for these ladies to run alongside their peers – so this is a reward second to none.”
Rebecca added: “This is so overwhelming and exciting. The success of Run Like A Girl shows that sport doesn’t have to be all about competitiveness – it can be about support, inclusiveness and having fun, too.
“We pride ourselves on being a friendly, sociable group that’s accessible to everyone, so to see such a diverse group of hundreds of women running together is an amazing sight to behold and so rewarding.
“It’s the reason Lauren and I, and our amazing team of volunteer running leaders, do this each week. Plus, the community spirit of Run Like A Girl is the reason we’ve made it onto the shortlist, as so many of our members nominated us, and we are so grateful for that.”
Visit www.swoty2016.co.uk/vote/community-award to vote or www.runlikeagirl.org.uk for more information.