"I started running to lose weight and to get fit. I'd always
been on the lookout for a local running club in Merthyr Tydfiland
so had my friends so I ended up starting a ladies only group
called Phat Katz. It wasn't long before the local council got in
touch and suggested we join forces with another running group to
form a proper club."
Now, the club has its own Facebook page, runs regular
competitions and is attracting around 80 runners every week. And
everyone is telling Sarah how they feel so much fitter!
As these members explained:
"I have just started to run to look at losing weight but have
been getting disheartened running on my own. The introduction of a
beginner's session will allow me to run with a group of people of
similar ability people and have the support system and camaraderie
of a group."
"Running has brought me closer to my wonderful friends and
strengthened the relationships we have. It's not just about living
a healthier lifestyle, running is such an amazing activity that
people of all ages and abilities can take part in. We all have busy
lifestyles but it gives you the chance to socialise with friends,
have a good chat and get fit at the same time, what more could you
If you find yourself in the same boat and fancy setting up a
club, here are Sarah's top tips:
Get in touch straight away with your local authority and your
national governing body of sport. It was a bit of paperwork to
become affiliated to Welsh Athletics but well worth it and I'm so
glad I did it at the beginning. It means we are more professional,
we are fully insured and we get loads of support. Our members get
discounts to enter races too.
Make sure you come across as friendly and welcoming. Lots of
runners get scared off because they think it will be too
professional and they'll be too slow.
A Facebook page helps - lots of our members just follow the
group and read the posts before they join. Then when they start,
they already feel like they know lots of the members and coaches
Be social - we build in social events like going for food after
races. We also encourage members to meet up outside of the
Cater for all abilities - our Walk to Run scheme is proving
Apply for funding - we have received funding from Sport Wales to
put our coaches on courses so they are fully trained up and
Set out your expectations with volunteers - you want to give
them enough to do to remain motivated but you also don't want to
ask too much of them. Our team are happy to do something once a
If you would like to find out more, visit Facebook.