Member Bio: Claire

Our latest bio in support of Lesbian Visibility Day is from Claire, our first female coach:

I joined NFR after a recommendation from a friend, I wasn’t initially keen because I was really unsure about joining a specific LGBT running club feeling that sport shouldn’t be about separation of participants based on sexuality/lifestyle choices – sport is for everyone regardless. Anyway, I came along rather apprehensively in January 2015 and walked into the reception area of Gosforth Pool for the Wednesday run session very uncertain about what to expect and soon realised how wrong my prior assumptions were…. I received the warmest welcome from the members there. I specifically remember Danielle, Carolyn and Russell who had all been involved in the development of the club and their enthusiasm for the positive participation opportunity NFR represented was just so evident.

So I of course joined NFR and now 4 years later I have also been involved in supporting the development of the club and have taken on a variety of volunteer roles during this time. I currently coach and lead the development of the Strength & Conditioning sessions we offer our runners (to develop running and prevent injury) and I am also currently the only female running coach at NFR. As a coach I enjoy supporting the development of the NFR runners so much, no matter what level of runner from complete novice through to performance and seeing how they flourish in such an inclusive/supportive environment. The weekly sessions we offer at NFR are structured in a way that they cater for all running/sporting abilities to ensure everyone has the same opportunity to participate. These sessions are also supported by a highly enthusiastic and committed group of volunteer NFR run leaders, coaches and cake bakers! 🧁 🍰 I have been involved in sport all of my life, particularly running and even with injuries and an ageing body that continually reminds me that I need to take it easy I can still find a way to run and remain involved in the many sport (& social! 🍾) activities NFR offers.

From my initial scepticism about the need for NFR as a specific sporty space for the LGBT community, I now feel really proud to be part of the club and the wider Frontrunner ‘movement’ that continues to grow internationally every year. The Frontrunner clubs provide valuable supportive spaces for LGBT people to get involved, and sustain involvement in sport which can only continue to be very positive for the wider health and well-being of the Frontrunner club members. 🏳️‍🌈 🏃🏻‍♀️