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Foundation celebrates Hat-Trick Award

Foundation celebrates Hat-Trick Award

The Tony Blair Sports Foundation (TBSF) was presented with the England Athletics North East ‘Participation Project of the Year’ Award at their annual awards event last night. Held at the Emirates Durham IGC volunteers, coaches, athletes and officials from athletics clubs and organisations across the north east were welcomed by EA Board Director, Neil Costello.

This is the third time TBSF have been recognised for the work they do with England Athletics having won ‘Club Partnership of the Year’ in 2010 and the ‘Community Partnership of the Year’ award in 2012.

Since October 2014 the Foundation has helped to recruit and train 19 Coaching Assistants, 3 Athletics Coaches, 52 Leaders in Running Fitness and 4 Coaches in Running Fitness. This means 78 new members are now volunteering their time with athletics clubs and running groups throughout our region.

Accepting the award, Jeanette Pickard, Chief Executive of the Foundation said:

“Over the last 12 months we have seen a huge increase in the number of running groups being set up to encourage people to get started on their running journey. People who enjoy jogging but feel they aren’t good enough to join a running club can gain great experience from being part of these groups. The groups are led by qualified Leaders and Coaches and the demand for these courses this year has been overwhelming.

We have been delighted to help nearly 60 people qualify as Running Leaders and Coaches this year, this means that literally hundreds of new runners are taking to the streets! These groups are particularly helpful to young girls and women who want to start running but don't know where to start and we’ve been delighted to work with our new members at These Girls Can Run and Mums on the Run who are also being recognised for their great work tonight.

If anyone wants to get involved in a running group or find out how to qualify as a Running Leader or Coach then simply email us at The course will enable you to deliver fun and safe running sessions to multi-ability groups and to give advice and support to new runners."

The Foundation would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated and shortlisted for an award. This year’s winners were:

Club of the Year - Morpeth Harriers

Volunteer of the Year - Donna Hawcroft, Teesdale AC

Official of the Year - Mike Kaiser, Middlesbrough Mandale AC

Coach of the Year - Chris Boundy, Gateshead Harriers

Run England Leader - Kim Scott, These Girls Can Run

Participation Project - The Tony Blair Sports Foundation