New home for young Rotherham athletics stars

A VOLUNTEER-run athletics club has moved into a new home for the winter after tapping into backing from shoppers.

Rawmarsh Runners’ kids group — known as Rawmarsh Runstars — was awarded almost £3,000 from Co-Op’s local community fund.

This money has allowed the club to secure use of the sports hall at Rawmarsh Community School over the winter, instead of their usual meeting ground of Rosehill Park.

Founder and chairperson, Barbara Hudson-Crownshaw, said: “The kids club initially started as adults could not come to sessions on a Monday as they had their kids, so we started Runstars as a sort of creche.”

Explaining the relocation, Barbara said: “When it’s dark, it’s difficult.

“We had a lot of anti-social behaviour (at the park), kids with fireworks etc.

“Without the money from the Co-op, we wouldn’t have been able to afford the hall.”

The club does not charge for their sessions and relied on help from sources like the community fund, where Co-op shoppers select a cause on the app to support every time they shop and swipe their card.

Rawmarsh Runners members and organisers are also charity supporters themselves.

Barbara said: “Six of us all chose a local charity, and we raised around £2,000 each.

“We did it (raised money) by getting sponsors, doing a jubilee bingo game and every Easter since we started, we’ve done an Easter egg drop.”

Barbara said a real sense of community had been seen during the pandemic, adding: “We would have local supermarkets donate eggs and we would go and drop them off.

“We are extremely grateful to the Co-Op and our community for contributing to securing a safe and fun future for our community’s kids.”

The fund has not only helped fund the change of location but paid for new equipment and allowed allowing two volunteers to complete their coaching diplomas, as well as supporting a trip to Gulliver’s Valley for the kids next year.


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