England Athletics NE Club of the Year 2017

Good morning to the North East Club of the Year!

Newcastle Frontrunners celebrate the prestigious award of England Athletics North East Club of the Year 2017 at the Annual Volunteer Awards.

It was an amazing evening celebrating Volunteers across the north-east, with true local heroes being rewarded. From Kevin Carr (57-year member of Sunderland Harriers and credits including officiating at the London Olympics) to group leaders who have set up C25k in their local park. We had a wonderful Inspirational Speaker slot from Stephen Miller, local Paralympic medalist, who presented the awards. There were 8 categories – Club, Young Volunteer, Official, Services to Athletics, Volunteer, Run Together group, Innovation Project, and Coach.

Below is the full nomination that was submitted for this award as it gives a flavour of what makes us special. (There was a word limit, and we had to follow a standard structure. We could have written so much more!)

We are only what we are thanks to the efforts of each and everyone of you. From the welcome you give everyone, the support in training and at events, helping with the Couch to 5k group, giving members who are going through hard times a helping hand and your time. You can all be very proud and share in this award.

Read about the evening on the England Awards website – HERE


Newcastle Frontrunners (NFR) is a charity whose aim is to reduce barriers to healthy activity for LGBT people. Studies show that LGBT people exercise less than average. Reasons include lack of confidence, low income, fear of ridicule, and stigma. The club makes running accessible from a cost and ability standpoint, and raises the profile of LGBT runners in the community.

Community Engagement: NFR works with local LGBT support groups and the Newcastle Pride organisation. The popular LGBT5k run on Pride weekend sold out all 800 places in 5 days. The LGBT5k is a serious race and fun run combined, with prizes for the fastest but also for best fancy dress.

Volunteer: The club have trained 20 LiRFs and 4 CiRFs, and encourage volunteering at parkruns by awarding Grand Prix points at nominated events.

Performance: To stretch all the runners, the club introduced interval training on Monday nights in 2016. We have also revamped the main Wednesday session into 5 groups focussing on pace. In 2016/17 we entered the NE Harrier League and several relay events.. Surprisingly, we found that even the slower runners were keen to take part because of the support they received.

Inclusion: NFR run Couch to 5k programmes which especially help females to access running. We strive to be accessible to transgender athletes, and allowed entrants to select non-binary as their sex in our 2017 LGBT5k race.

Development: We offer one-to-one coaching to athletes with specific goals like a sub-20 5k or Great North Run. We have 2 trained VI Guides and have supported a blind runner in GNR training this year. We have fortnightly Strength & Conditioning sessions to prevent injury and improve flexibility.

The club has doubled in size in the past year to over 130 members.