Awards shortlists announced!

Wednesday 9 October 2019

We are delighted to announce the shortlists for this year’s jogscotland Annual Awards! Our judges have considered hundreds of nominations to select this year’s shortlists. All those on the lists are wonderful examples of all the things that make jogscotland so special – the achievements, the leadership, the community and the determination to improve our physical and mental wellbeing by getting active.

The winners will be announced at the FPSG scottishathletics and jogscotland Annual Awards at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel on 23 November, where our Guest of Honour will be Marathon World Record Holder Paula Radcliffe!

Click to buy your tickets online now!

You can read our shortlists here, then scroll down to read more about each of them –

Jog Leader of the Year
Maureen Burke – jogscotland Castlemilk
Marie Dobson – Newmachar Running Group
Jim Taylor – Lang Toun Joggers

Group of the Year
Anster Allsorts
Jiggly Joggers
TaySmilers

Achiever of the Year
Lizzie King – Inverness jogscotland
Michael Mullan – Ready, Steady, Go Pitreavie
Bob Strathie – FIT Together

SAMH Mental Wellbeing Award
Jill Spink – Marie Curie in Edinburgh
Kirsty Ross – Alness Area jogscotland
Mums on the Run Inverurie

Nominee biographies

JOG LEADER OF THE YEAR

Maureen Burke – jogscotland Castlemilk

Maureen has dedicated many years to helping people enjoy running – one nominator who jogs with her now was first coached by her 21 years ago! Over those decades, she has encouraged hundreds of people to start and continue running, and is as enthusiastic today as when she first started. Leading regular groups for all levels, she makes people believe in themselves with a smile and the right words at the right time. She is described as “caring, kind, supportive – yet kicks backsides when needed”!

Marie Dobson – Newmachar Running Group

Marie has been a jog leader with Newmachar Running Group almost since it started. She previously overcame breast cancer, but was more recently diagnosed with incurable secondary cancer, affecting her bones. She is determined to get the most out of life, however – and that includes continuing to inspire and encourage her joggers. When she was told she could no longer run, the group raised funds and bought her an electric scooter, and now she attends her jog group riding alongside them, motivating and supporting them as much as she always has. She remains one of the most positive people you could meet, cares for everyone else before herself, and strives to make each member of the group to feel good about themselves and their achievements.

Jim Taylor – Lang Toun Joggers

Jim is praised as a great jog leader, welcoming to all ages and abilities. He has an infinite amount of patience and encouragement, creating a welcoming space for his joggers – one described how taking part in the group had helped her deal with the grief of losing her husband. As well as being a jog leader, Jim volunteers elsewhere in his community, promoting fitness and healthy living through Greener Kirkcaldy, leading two cycling groups, and was recently race director of the first Kirkcaldy Half Marathon. Nothing is too much trouble for this genuine, caring jog leader.

GROUP OF THE YEAR

Anster Allsorts

The Allsorts truly cater for all abilities. In addition to their jogging sessions, this year they established Walksorts, a walking group that enables non-runners, returners, and injured joggers to keep active. They reward achievement at all levels with the monthly Bertie Bassett challenge, offering prizes for the most improved. They take running seriously but the emphasis is on the friendships made, with everyone sharing a cuppa after their run, and initiatives like a book swap between members.

They took part in jogscotland’s I’m here pledge this year, with jog leaders taking SAMH mental health awareness training and pledging to encourage conversations about mental wellbeing at their group. They are also supporting a research study with University of St Andrews to encourage GPs to prescribe jogscotland groups to their patients.

They also support numerous charities, including an annual food bank collection.

Jiggly Joggers

Jiggly Joggers was created to offer a supportive place for plus size women to start running. Set up by Elaine Leitch after previous bad experiences with exercise groups, she wanted to create a group where she didn’t feel she was holding other people back – and which would also demonstrate to other plus size women that they could start runing too.

After starting with an advert to members of a slimming group, which promised it would be warm, friendly, with no expectations, the group has grown through word of mouth and created a great community.

Numerous members said they would once never have imagined themselves being a runner, but had succeeded with the support of Jiggly Joggers. One wrote: “I see you as my long lost family and I ‘m so happy to find you.”

TaySmilers

TaySmilers are a relatively new group, but have already formed a close-knit community. They go to great lengths to celebrate participation, no matter what your speed. They recently established a walking group, and their jogging sessions feature innovative ideas to encourage people to focus on teamwork over times – sessions like ‘draw a picture on your garmin’ runs, Easter Egg Hunts, an Oor Wullie Challenge, and the jogscotland Virtual 5K have all added variety to the programme. One of the group’s jog leaders recently started a group within Dundee Maggie’s Centre and the group organised a fundraising Miles for Maggies run to support this work.
Jog leaders have taken SAMH mental health awareness training and made the I’m here pledge to support the mental health of their members. One member said: ˜Running with the group is like having a big hug”

ACHIEVER OF THE YEAR

Lizzie King – Inverness jogscotland

Lizzie started jogging with Inverness Jog Scotland back in 2016 but just as she was making progress, she received a cancer diagnosis. She took the news in a brave and practical manner, maintaining a positive attitude as she underwent both chemo and radiotherapy. After her treatment, she was determined to get active again, but had to start slowly, building her strength up from scratch. She progressed steadily from walking to jogging, always turning up with a smile and laugh, even when feeling the after-effects of treatment. She built up her mileage and this year trained for the Baxter’s 10K. She is described as “a powerhouse of inspiration”. She is now planning to train as a jog leader.

Michael Mullan – Ready, Steady, Go Pitreavie

Michael joined Ready Steady Go Pitreavie just over a year ago, and in that time he has halved his 5K time from 50 minutes to under 25 minutes. He has also lost 3.5 stone, completed his first half marathon and is training for his first ultra, aiming to cover at least 50K. He always takes the time to encourage and reassure new members, sharing his own experiences and offering to buddy them.

Bob Strathie – FIT Together

Bob joined FIT Together’s beginner jogging group in February at the age of 71, having never been a runner before. He had always been a keen walker and was eager to join the group and see what he could do. He quickly rose to the challenge of sessions of all types, undaunted by hill reps, fartleks, and the like. By May, he was ready for his first parkrun, completing in a little over 34 minutes – though he was too busy blethering to get an official time! He has since reduced his PB to 28:43. His decision to take on a new challenge and his commitment to improve are a real inspiration.

SAMH MENTAL WELLBEING AWARD

Jill Spink – Marie Curie in Edinburgh

Having herself been bereaved when her mother passed away on Christmas Day 2017, Jill has a first-hand understanding of the impact that grief has on mental health and wellbeing. As a runner, she also knows that being physically active and connecting with others can have a positive effect on emotional health. She set up a running group with Marie Curie Edinburgh specifically for bereaved people, to provide support and companionship, as well as the benefits of exercise. One member says: “The group helps reduce my anxiety, is a valuable opportunity to socialise & helps me stay healthy for my children. Jill is that rare type of life-affirming person who helps us honour our departed loved ones by doing the exact thing they would want us to do, and that is to live, rather than just be alive.”

Kirsty Ross – Alness Area jogscotland

Kirsty has been through several bouts of depression, leaving her struggling to feel positive even when things in her life were going well. Eventually she plucked up the courage to go along to her local parkrun and met a lady who told her about Alness Jog Scotland. She attended for a short time, but began to make excuses not to go and soon dropped away. Eventually she toughened her resolve and went back, and the warmth of the welcome she received from jog leaders gave her a real boost. She entered Inverness Half Marathon, began to get stronger and more positive, and went on to enter Edinburgh Marathon to raise money for mental health charity Health in Mind, supported by club members and jog leaders. She now runs regularly, and is maintaining her own mental health well with the help of physical activity.

Mums on the Run Inverurie

Mums on the Run Inverurie provides a chance to socialise and get active, for mums who might otherwise feel isolated and overwhelmed.
Jog leader Jess Parson guides them to make sure their post-natal return to exercise is done safely and gradually. She has also created an environment where mums feel comfortable talking about the daily pressures of motherhood, an open, non-judgemental group, where members support one another and share their highs and lows. Many members have had difficult experiences but say the group has been life-changing for them, and created firm friendships which extend beyond their jogging sessions.

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