Many of you will know that I’ve been involved with the global women’s running network 261 Fearless for a few years now. I absolutely love it because I find it fulfilling, challenging and exciting too. It’s all about helping women to find support and empowerment through running. Now things are stepping up to another level! Along with my colleague and friend Nicky we’ve set up a 261 Fearless Club UK as a Community Interest Company. This is an exciting project as the clubs in the UK have so far been acting independently. This is a way to unite us and allow us to grow and reach many more women in the UK; we hope to reach some of the most fearful.
We’re off to a great start! We held a launch event in London at the adidas women’s studios in Brick Lane. Adidas are our global sponsor. It was a fun evening where our guests got to experience some of the 261 magic that makes you feel included and relaxed yet able to challenge yourself.
We announced our partnership with Go Faster Food as our healthy eating partners at the launch. We can’t wait to work with (and be fuelled by) their amazing team. We love their approach to food, focusing on healthy, nutritious, real food to give you the energy for an active lifestyle.
We also announced that for the second year we will be partnering with the Women Can marathon in Devon. This has brought big smiles to our faces as we’re all about inclusion and running in a non-competitive atmosphere. When we partnered with them last year we experienced first-hand how every woman, regardless of pace, shape or size, was welcomed, encouraged and supported. We’re taking an international team to next year’s event!
We’re setting about the important business of growing our club network. Our clubs are the most important aspect of our work as this is where we can really reach out to women and provide an environment in which they can feel comfortable running. We already have clubs in Greenwich (London), Lune Valley (Lancashire) and Burwell (Cambridgeshire). In January a new club will launch in Inverurie – we’re excited to be reaching Scotland!
You don’t have to be an experienced or highly decorated runner to start a club. You just have to have the desire to share the benefits of running with the women in your community. Club sessions are for one hour a week and they are completely non-competitive and non-judgmental. All women of all abilities are welcomed. Our coaches are trained to help women run healthily so sessions are carefully crafted to focus on women-specific running needs and problems. There’s a big focus on games and running drills to help achieve this. Laughter is absolutely guaranteed!
All of our coaches have said that the club runs become the highlight of their week and that bringing women together creates a wonderful supportive network that extends way beyond the weekly session.
We have a Train the Trainer course in Manchester, Feb 23rd to 25th and if you think you may be interested in starting a club in your local area then do get in touch. You can find out more information about clubs on the 261 Fearless site – click on the Join 261 tab. You can apply directly from there but if you have any questions before you apply then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org we’d love to hear from you. We’re on an exciting journey and we invite you to be part of it.
Photo credits – featured image Horst von Bohlen. Others – drjulietmcgrattan.com