New 5km community training sessions in Exeter are big hit with residents

A new couch to 5km running group in Exeter is proving a big success with residents after more than 50 people signed up to the weekly sessions.

The group meets on Monday evenings at 7pm at Hamlin Lane playing fields – and all are welcome to attend the free sessions organised by Exeter Leisure in partnership with community running groups.

Cllr Josie Parkhouse, Lead Councillor for Leisure and Physical Activity, is taking part in the group as part of 12 Moves in 12 Months – a year-long challenge aimed at increasing wellbeing and activity.

12 Moves also aims to champion some of the amazing community groups and organisations in Exeter who are supporting people to be more active in their daily lives.

Cllr Parkhouse said: “This 5km training program is just starting and it’s a really exciting opportunity for residents to get involved. It’s free and they can just come along 7pm on a Monday evening and get back into running or start running their running journey from scratch.

“It’s a great way to exercise and you feel better in yourself, but it’s also great to meet other people and socialise – it’s a great opportunity to do all of those things.

“There’s loads of scope for people to join during the program and get involved, meet other people who might also be new to running, or nervous or getting back into running. I think it’s just a great opportunity that I hope lots of people will take up.”

Cllr Parkhouse was joined for the session by Emma Kessie, of Exeter Leisure, the City Council’s leisure service.

She said: “We run all the leisure centres in Exeter and we encourage people to come in and use the facilities. But also we are aware that some people have never stepped inside a leisure centre, and maybe they are a little bit nervous.

“So we want to develop grassroots activity. So it’s really important to reach out to the local community and start from where people are living.

“We’ve run a lot of couch to 5km programs for quite a few years now. The best thing is seeing people return, and it’s just a lovely atmosphere.

“It’s about creating that community environment and a friendly activity for people to join, and we’ve got lots of lovely volunteer leaders.”

She added: “It’s all about making that first step. Anyone who hasn’t made it tonight can just jump on to the program next week. So it’s definitely worth joining in.”

The couch to 5km sessions take place every Monday at 7pm at Hamlin Lane playing fields, and all are welcome.

12 Moves in 12 Months is part of the Live and Move #ShareYourMoves campaign to help people become more active in the city.

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