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Crawley walking group wins regional award

A group of Pakistani women standing in a park ready to go for a walk
The Crawley walking group that recently won an award

Crawley walking group wins regional award

A walking group for the elders of a local Pakistani community has won a regional award.

The project, started by Crawley Run Crew and led by one of their coaches, has seen women from the local Pakistani community in Crawley take up weekly walking sessions in Tilgate Park in a bid to improve their health.

Now, the project has been awarded the England Athletics Southeast Community Project of the Year.

Shelley Meyern, chairperson of Crawley Run Crew, said a lot of lessons had been learned through setting up the project – including the importance of making sure a local person from the targeted community was involved in running it.

“It had to be someone they trusted,” Shelley explained when talking about the project leader Semeena Khan.

 “It was important that the individuals were able to engage with the person leading the group. What is great, is that the ladies are still out walking now on their own volition. 

“Some of them have even done the 0 to 5k programme and some are engaging in other activities, such as swimming.”

The project, which received funding from the Tackling Inequalities Fund distributed by Active Sussex, saw the women given walking shoes and walking poles for those who wanted them.

Some of the women have gone on to complete the walking champion training programme, arranged with the Crawley Wellbeing team, and it has also brought about an unexpected bonus. 

“The group has helped break down barriers within their own community,” Shelley reveals.  “This has been a really positive programme.”

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