Affiliation boost for Chirnside Chasers

Chirnside Chasers
Chirnside Chasers

Chirnside Chasers athletics group has grown from strngth to strength since its formation back in December 2011.

Now they have become the latest running group to be affiliated to Scottish Athletics. a testament to the hard work of the committee and coaches.

Jamie McDonald, east regional development manager with scottishathletics commented: “We are delighted to welcome Chirnside Chasers as a member club of scottishathletics. It is exciting to have an athletics club in the Berwickshire area. In particular it is exciting to see that the club offer and encourage participants from all across the community including total beginners, where their roots began, to school aged pupils through to adult runners.

“I look forward to supporting Chirnside Chasers as they continue to develop and I would like to thank and congratulate the committed coaches and volunteers for the progress to reach this stage.”

Chirnside Chasers was only formed in December 2011, by around a dozen like-minded runners keen to share their enthusiasm for running and to encourage new participants into the sport. The driving force behind the group was, and still is, the husband and wife team of Stephen and Leeann Ross who took on the role of coaches. They began a weekly beginners walk/jog group on a Tuesday night with the emphasis on encouraging new people into running and a weekly intermediate group on a Wednesday night for the more competitive runners.

Chirnside Chasers have runners who range in age and ability from eight-years-old to veterans and from runners who run sub 40 minutes for a 10k to those who are completely new to the sport; however, the evident delight in personal development and in seeing improvement in others is common to all.

The group regularly sends runners to competitive events of various sizes; from The Edinburgh Marathon and The Great North Run to Brae Sprints and Hill Runs to local 10 and 5k races. Several runners recently took part in their first race who could not run at all before they joined the Tuesday group completed the course (their first 5k) and didn’t walk once.

The group took on an additional direction after being contacted by the local primary school who approached the group to ask if they would start an after school group. This had a dual role as the school had potentially good runners; but also had a couple of challenging pupils who the headmaster thought would benefit from working with the group. This group started in April 2012, and was run on an entirely voluntary basis to be free for primary pupils, to benefit both the school and Chirnside Chasers in channelling kids into the sport and into a positive and encouraging environment. The after school group continues to attract around 12-15 kids each week.

Much of the group’s success could be at least partially attributable to the exceptionally friendly ethos which has characterised the group from its inception. By using social media to share encouragement, success stories and inspirations; organising community events, nights out and club celebrations Chirnside Chasers has truly created an atmosphere of genuine camaraderie which does as much to encourage participation as do its varied training programmes. As a result of the hard work of the committee Chirnside Chasers were short listed for the JogScotland community group of the year and also won the Karen Balfour Award for the Community Group of the year in 2012.

For more details of meeting times and locations you will find details at www.chirnsidechaser.org.uk or find us on facebook.