Club of the Month – South Leeds Lakers
South Leeds Lakers is a free Running Club that meets at 7pm on a Tuesday at Beeston Co-op ( we are shortly moving into a new home at nearby Beeston Community Centre ).
We also have a Junior Section Meeting at 6pm on a Thursday at Cockburn School.
How the club started
The club was founded in 2015 from friends at Cross Flatts parkrun wanting to meet during the week and has built into around 80-100 people meeting every Tuesday.
We affiliated to England Athletics in 2017, but also have social members and the club ethos is we will always be free.
Information about the club
The club celebrated it’s 5th Birthday last February and has a wide range of runners ( we had the 24th and 5720th place at last years Leeds Half Marathon and many more in-between ).
We won England Athletics volunteer club of the year for Yorkshire & the Humber in 2017 and came runner up last year.
As well as putting out around 5 groups of different pace every Tuesday we have ran several successful “couch to 5K” programmes and have now set up a regular walking group.
We also hope in the future to start a cycling group.
Our Junior section is just over a year old and has up to 40 regulars attending aged between 8-14.
How the club responded to Covid-19
The Covid-19 crisis has obviously affected us as it means we cannot meet, but luckily through the power of the internet we have kept people motivated. We have had several Bingo cards to complete on runs with various words, bands or films to incorporate. We did our own version of the Summer Mile, a Mile high May Challenge and we even split into two teams for a 30 minute run challenge. As well as this we have had weekly quiz night on a Tuesday.
Now the restrictions have eased we are doing ‘Mini Motivation Groups’ with up to 6 people allowed.
A contest ran last year to find a club motto ended in a tie, we went with ‘if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you, and ‘This Laker Can’ thought up by one of our Juniors Ellie Harrison, we even had T-shirts printed and gave the proceeds to Wheatfields Hospice.
This is close to our hearts as we have lost 3 members in just over a year to Cancer, who spent time in the Hospice.
Thank you to Ian Pickles for the club Information and Sharon Mann for the club nomination