Holywell School ‘Couch to 5k’ Girls Active Programme

Holywell School – Couch to 5k – Girls Active Programme

I have been a PE teacher at Holywell for 12 years and in all of my time of teaching have been inspired and proud of my pupils. This year after coming back from maternity leave and feeling rather unfit! I was inspired by the Girls Active course that I attended at the start of the year. I went away from the course and asked my Head of PE if I was able to run a couch to 5k club for pupils at our school.

The first few weeks of the club the numbers fluctuated between 15-30 and eventually evened off to a steady 15. Seeing the girls attend and improve in not only their fitness but also their self-confidence inspired me to join in! We battled through the winter months and still the same girls attended joining me and other staff in our couch to 5k programme; nothing put them off! They were even a little disappointed to hear that we could not go on the field when it was covered in snow!

The girls at the club are not the typical “sporty” girls but I really admire their commitment and enthusiasm more so than ever.

During the spring, we discussed the possibility of entering a 5k race and after careful consideration decided to work towards the Bedford Race for Life in July. Training was ramped up and the girls rose to the challenge. Pupils who could not complete a lap of the 300m running track this time last year were now running comfortably for 10 minutes!

One of the girls competed in the 800m on sports day and ran for the whole race. This was a huge achievement and the improvement in her fitness really showed!

We treated the girls to T shirts and hoodies to inspire them to join the club but to be honest, the inspiration now was to complete the race.

Unfortunately, the heat wave hit England the week before the race and race day itself was predicted to hit 28degrees!

We all met at Priory Park on the morning of the race and enjoyed the warm up activities and pre-race entertainment. Parents and staff came to support and cheer us round the course. After 44 minutes of running in the scorching conditions the final runners from our group crossed the line to applause and cheers from all.

I could not have been prouder to run with such an amazing group of girls who not only amazed me with their commitment but also inspired me to complete the course! The girl’s confidence in their own ability has grown since starting the club. Pupils who would shy away from demonstrating in lessons and attending PE clubs are now running in front of their peers and parents on sports day with smiles on their faces.

The girls are now planning to enter more 5k evens next year, some have even suggested 10k races! Assemblies will be planned to inspire others from next year so hopefully numbers will grow for our club.