Ain’t no party like a Parkrun party

The running community of South Leeds turned out in force last Saturday (19 December 2015) for their annual Christmas Party / Awards Night, at the Hunslet Hawks Phoenix Suite at the John Charles stadium. This is the third year the event has been held, and over 80 runners swapped their trainers for dancing shoes as a great night was had by all.

The South Leeds Sisters, in their gladrags (image: Phil Hodgson)
The South Leeds Sisters, in their gladrags! (Image: Raymond Barber)

Running in South Leeds has gone from strength to strength since the introduction of Cross Flatts Parkrun in early 2013. The South Leeds Sisters continue to provide a social and safe women’s group, running out of the John Charles stadium every Monday evening, whilst 2015 saw the formation of the South Leeds Lakers who meet 7pm every Tuesday evening at the Beeston Coop.

However, the real success story is the friendships and pride in the community that have developed.

The evening started with Cross Flatts Parkrun founder Mark Hodgkinson hosting his now legendary Play Your Cards Right. This was followed by the award presentations for the Sisters, Lakers and Parkrun. It’s not quite Sports Personality of the Year, but is nevertheless nice to acknowledge the achievements of those individuals who have quite literally gone the extra mile.

The blue ribbon award is the Volunteer of the Year. This year’s winner – Alan Swithenbank – epitomises what all three groups are about: Alan doesn’t even run, but selflessly turns up every Saturday morning in all kinds of weather to time-keep at Parkrun.

So, if you’re looking to get fit in 2016, don’t be shy, and get along to one of the groups. We can’t promise everyone an award, but we can promise a friendly welcome.


This post was written by Phil Hodgson using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.



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