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Selby’s Couch to 5K Huge Success

Selby’s Couch to 5K Huge Success

Lee Bellingham (Museum Manager), Councillor Preece, Chris Derbyshire (Managing Director of IHL)

Selby Couch to 5K Runners

There’s an old saying in the fitness world that “teamwork makes the dream work”.

But in the case of Selby’s Couch to 5k, it’s “partnership that powers improvement”.

Selby’s Couch to 5k has enjoyed huge success since relaunching post-Covid.

Designed to get running novices off the settee and lacing up those trainers, it’s a great way for people to start their fitness journey.

Pre-Covid health and fitness charity Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles (IHL) managed a Couch to 5K event but following lockdowns and the UK-wide great resignation of 2021, they no longer had the staff to deliver the programme.

Undaunted, Andy Sim, Wellbeing Manager, turned to the community to ensure these great fitness kick-starter sessions got a new lease of life by teaming up with Selby Striders.

Andy Sim, Wellbeing Manager for IHL, said:

Like many businesses, we had a lot of staff move on following lockdowns and Covid. We were desperate to put on the Couch to 5K sessions again but simply didn’t have the resources to do it. So, I started to work on creating productive partnerships with local grassroots clubs, the wider charity sector, within the council and the locally based NHS team.

A quick chat with Selby Striders supporter Steve Ingledew and Michelle Newtown, Chair of Selby Striders, saw the Couch to 5K reintroduced in April 2023.

Since then it’s gone on to great success with 33 people taking part in the ten-week programme.

IHL supports the programme with marketing and promotion, as well as exclusive offers for Selby Leisure Centre, including free seven-day gym passes.

Pre-Covid, Couch to 5K received 15-18 new runners on each programme, but this year it was oversubscribed and there’s even a waiting list.

Steve Ingledew designed the programme and leads and delivers sessions. He said:

It’s great to see something so positive come out of a bleak situation. I love watching people’s confidence grow with every session; running is a great way to improve physical and mental health.

Michelle added:

This partnership led to a change in lifestyle for the graduates, some having lost weight, made new friends, and now look forward to exercising; something many of them doubted or lacked the confidence to do before.

It’s not the only community partnership IHL has been part of. Recently, they teamed up with Up for Yorkshire to launch new, free Accessible Yoga sessions. Read more here.

Some comments from this year’s participants included:

“Life took over, and I lost my running mojo. Thanks to the amazing efforts, encouragement and support, I’ve got my passion for running back.”

“It made running fun. Wouldn’t have been as enjoyable without the great support”.

“I had a few rough weeks in the middle…but the reason I didn’t give up was because of the genuine encouragement from Selby Striders and other newbies.”

The annual Couch to 5K course will start again in Spring 2024.

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