Club of the year awards 2022

The video below is from the 2022 EA East Region Awards night. It includes the citation, video clips sent in by LFR and a Q&A session with Chairman Andy Heale and Social Secretary Ian Bisby.

How is the club welcoming and what has been done to ensure members have a great experience?

LFR welcomes athletes of all standards, initially with an email explaining how the club operates and a mention in our weekly newsletter. The membership secretary ensures the captain is aware of new members so we can make a special effort to welcome them on their first club night visit.  When running in pace groups, everyone is introduced to each other - helpful for new and old members alike. We also have an active facebook group with friendly banter to welcome and encourage members.

We offer a well structured varied  programme of events publicised in advance on our website and newsletter and  monitor the popularity of take up, and group sizes. Our run leaders and captains team actively seek feedback from members.

Club camaraderie is high within the club, it is normal practice to wait for all our runners to finish in a race and cheer them on. We encourage this with our monthly 5k Cake night when all members wait for the final runner before heading off for refreshments.

What has the club done over the last 12 months to create a fantastic training environment, develop volunteers and look after their members?

Good quality run leaders are essential to a great training environment and we  have encouraged and funderd run leaders to take up  the LIRF/CIRF qualification. We hold run leader briefing sessions to ensure consistent approach  and feedback.

Our policies have been updated to meet EA Club standards with members welfare a high priority. We organise a First aid course, designed for runners and have  jointly funded a defibrillator with our host sports club.  Two of our committee members joined the EA leadership programme. We have appointed a second Welfare Officer who is aiming to complete the required training this year.

We have introduced additional run sessions outside of our main club night and include a good mix of fun/social events, such as our monthly  5k Cake night, the annual Beer Mile and various fancy dress runs such as Halloween in addition to the varied training programme and try out new ideas.

Tell us what makes the club special and the main achievements over the last 12 months (Think broader than just performances)

LFR is special as we are inclusive:  “no runner left behind”, and have a great sense of club camaraderie.  We try out new ideas, most  recently  a Jeffing session and we introduced distant members to cater for  members who move away from the area but are keen to keep ties with the club. We celebrate success with a Runner of the Month Award (and a £10 voucher), a weekly newsletter highlighting members achievements, Race reports and a weekly ParkRun report and the annual awards night.

Club achievements include being national Runners Up in the 2021 COTY awards, raising £4,000 for our club charity,  hosting our own 10k race and restarting our C25k programme for the public. Each year we marshal at Mile 21 of the London Marathon and host a Santa Dash fun run.  We have had members achieving 100 marathons this year and some great individual  race performances. Club membership has grown from 224 to 302 from 2021 to 2022