A FITNESS club has been championed for its part in helping a community come on leaps and bounds.
Easington Hares was set up with the support of Healthworks as part of the centre’s efforts to offer residents from Easington Colliery and beyond a chance to turn around their health and give themselves a brighter future.
It is just one of the nominees in the running for the Physical Activity – Most Committed Award, which is one of a dozen titles which make up the centre’s first awards scheme.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Glebe Centre, in Murton, in January.
Kaye Stephenson, who leads the group, is heading up the nominations.
The Durham County Council worker teamed up with the Paradise Lane complex early last year after people in the area asked it to look into launching a club.
It ran for a six-week pilot in April and has not stopped since.
Eighteen months and more than 100 members later, Easington Hares is the first running group to be created in the area and is one of the regular activities delivered as part of the Healthworks programme.
Kaye said: “It started with two leaders in running fitness sessions and since then has funded and supported another five volunteers to help lead them.
“This has helped to create new sessions targeting different segments of the community, including young mothers and total beginners.”
She added: “Easington Hares is having a massive impact on the local community and encourages others to see how to become fit and healthy.
“Just by seeing the runners on the streets, all wearing branded T-shirts helps to motivate others to do the same.
“The fact that the club creates opportunities for those who would not dream of putting on a pair of trainers and jogging with 18 friends each week, in all sorts of weather, proves just what an impact the Easington Hares is having on the area.”
In September, Easington Hares was named Sports Club of the Year by Local Active Easington Community Sports Network Awards.
The group meets event Tuesday and is open to all ages and abilities.
Nominations for the Healthworks Recognition Awards must be submitted to the centre by Friday, November 25. More information available on 527 4150 or at www.health-improvement.cdd.nhs.uk