A NEW running group has been set up in the St Matthew’s area of the city, by a Leicestershire PC, who has ran nine marathons alongside his career in policing.
The free group, which runs on a Tuesday, has been set up by PC Nick Whitehead from Leicestershire Police, in partnership with Carley Church and local charity ‘Leicester in the Community’.
A keen runner, who was responsible for setting up the Victoria Parkrun, PC Whitehead wanted to do something in the St Matthew’s area to increase confidence, and help to increase health and well-being of the people in the community.
Last week eight people took part in the session at the estate’s Cruyff Court, but it is hoped that this number will increase over the coming weeks.
“I’ve worked on the St Matthews for around ten years now, and I’ve been passionate about setting up a running group in the area for a while now,” PC Whitehead told Pukaar News.
“However my long term goal is for it to progress to a full on running club for the community.
“It’s a very nice diverse community and I wanted to combine my love of the community with my love of running and pass that on,” he added.
“I’ve been impressed with the enthusiasm so far, particularly from ladies who have never ran before.
“Last week we had eight people turn up, including one lady who ran with a pushchair and her two children. Hopefully with the word of mouth, the group will continue to grow.
At the moment the group is doing the ‘Couch to 5K’ down at Cruyff Court. However, as confidence grows PC Whitehead hopes to venture out into Abbey Park as we come into the Spring and Summer months.
He is passionate about the benefits of running, and has completed nine marathons in total, including those at Leicester, Blackpool and Manchester.
Last year he ran the London Marathon and is a member of the Desford Striders Running Club.
“I love the benefits of running in terms of what it can do for both your mental and physical health,” he said.
“Of course you can lose weight, which some people in the group are keen to do, but it can also free up your head space and is a great activity in terms of engagement and making friends.”
The hour long sessions take place every Tuesday at around the running track at Cruyff Court in Willow Street, between 11.30 and 12.30pm.
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