Published Wednesday 12 February 2020 at 15:25
Budding runners are being pointed in the right direction thanks to new signs at Witton Park.
The colourful signs, funded by a recent successful grant award, are at the entrance to the park where the successful Blackburn Couch to 5k Running group meets.
As well as celebrating the huge success of the voluntary group, it means that both new starters and people taking their first steps into running can find the group easily when they arrive at the park.
The Couch to 5K running group was set up in 2013 by Blackburn man Rick Wilson. Weighing nearly 20 stone, he wanted to get fit and healthy and train towards running the Pennine Lancashire 10k race.
He thought it might be a bit daunting joining a running club so decided to set up one himself after finding out about the NHS running programme Couch to 5K, which takes people from being non-runners to being fitter, healthier and happier.
The group has a pool of dedicated volunteers, who have all completed the Couch to 5K plan themselves.
Over the last three years the group has supported over 6,000 runners, meeting three times per week in Witton Park.
Founder Rick said:
Everyone who comes along to the group has been a beginner at some point, and there is a really friendly and supportive atmosphere. We are all here to have a good time, get fitter and meet new friends. This has changed my life and given so many people a real boost.”
John Clucas, who came along to the group in 2014 and who now helps to co-ordinate each plan, said:
Anyone can come along and run, walk or achieve a run of 5 Kilometres in any way, we really are open to everyone. I’m glad these signs are here to help people know we are here and to find out information on our website.”
Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said:
The groups that are on offer at Witton are fantastic and offer so much to people using them, for physical and mental health and improved wellbeing, and the Couch to 5K group is a great example of this. We are really proud of all the groups based at Witton Park and we look to help them in any way we can.”
Witton Park is a base for a growing number of active community groups with something for everyone, including a weekly Parkrun, Blackburn Road Runners, Green Gym conservation group, parent and baby activities, cycle hire, pump track and much more.
The park also boasts the Witton Park Arena, with top-of-the-range gym and exercise facilities and the athletics track which is home to Blackburn Harriers.
Councillor Brian Taylor, Lead Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said:
It’s great to signpost people to anything that might help them make positive changes in their lives. I hope people will take a look at all the physical activities they can do at Witton Park which is without doubt one of the town’s best loved assets.”