A South Tyneside running club is taking success in its stride – at the double.
South Shields Athletics Club coach Chris Warnock has received national recognition for putting in the hard yards for the next generation of track stars by being runner-up in the England Athletics Run Leader of the Year awards.
The baton of achievement has been also been won by one of the club’s young talents, 13-year-old Jamie Robinson, who clinched a silver medal in the North Eastern Counties Penathlon Championships.
Jamie, from South Shields, is a member of the Mortimer Satellite Club and was delighted to win a place on the podium.
He said: “I was so pleased when I found out I could get a medal. I started the day thinking I was going to come last, and Chris told me just to go and enjoy the day.
“I felt so sick at the start with nerves, but once I got into it, I loved it. And when I got my silver medal at the end I was so happy. I’m hoping I can do even better next year.”
When I got my silver medal I was so happy.Jamie Robinson
Mr Warnock, who runs the satellite club at Gypsies Green, South Shields, was nominated by his Run England Wednesday group for the award.
The hard-working coach secured funding for Mortimer satellite club and the Run England Group through Tyne & Wear sport.
He said: “The funding we received from Tyne & Wear Sport has been a great help to us and to athletics in South Shields in general.
“It has helped us set up this great new self-sufficient club, as well as support with some equipment costs too. Without this, we may not have set up anything, and as a result we may have missed people from getting healthy and into a new sport.
“Jamie joined the club early in 2015. He’s never really been into sport and we hope to find a lot more out there like him.”
James Hartley, project officer from Tyne & Wear Sport said: “Chris being awarded for his efforts is testament to how much good work is going on around South Shields.
“It is brilliant to have clubs working with us for another year, as our funding is available to provide many different opportunities for different ability groups within athletics.
“Hopefully the introduction of running groups and other athletic disciplines will raise activity levels within the sport and inspire people to carry on a more regular basis or to join the local club.”