The scope of a payback scheme which rewards clubs who provide volunteers for Sunderland’s Festival of Running events is being expanded, organisers have announced.
The payback scheme was launched by Events of the North in 2016 and offered a cash incentive to clubs when enough members signed up to run in either the Sunderland City 10k or Sunderland Half Marathon runs.
For 2017, clubs can also earn money if they supply volunteers to help at the half marathon and 10K, which will both take place on Sunday, May 7.
Through a combination of runners and volunteers across the two races, a club can earn up to £250.
Event founder and director Steve Cram said: “We launched the club payback scheme at last year’s Siglion Sunderland City Half Marathon and 10K and it was really well received.
“We paid out over £1,000 to 14 grass roots clubs around the region and the initiative proved to be a great way to thank them for their support of the event.
“As well as providing loads of runners, the North East’s athletics clubs have a fantastic tradition of volunteering, and this extension to the payback scheme recognises and rewards that.”
Harry Harrison, club secretary at Sunderland Strollers, said: “We will always have lots of our club members participating in the Sunderland events, supported by many other members and their families.
“Who wouldn’t want to run around their home city being cheered on by their friends and supporters who delight at spotting the next Stroller vest?
“The recognition of volunteers is a great enhancement.
“As a big club, we’re aware that we can generate volunteers quite easily but to receive financial reward for this is a nice touch.
Michael Hill, club secretary at Sunderland Harriers, said: “I think that rewarding the local athletics clubs for volunteering at the Siglion Sunderland City 10K and Half Marathon is a great idea as it acknowledges our efforts in assisting in the success of a major mass participation sporting event in our city.
“It’s a virtuous circle, as any financial income we get will be re-invested into our local community through coaching and encouragement of runners of all ages and abilities.”
The full details of the scheme can be found at www.sunderlandcity10k.com/club-payback and anyone who would like to volunteer should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.