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The very best of jogscotland


  • lets celebrate!

    72% female28% male35,043

    People joined

    60%Aged 40+

    3,024Leaders trained

    504Jog groups

    57Challenge events




    the very best of jogscotland

  • Its easy for all of us involved in jogscotland to take for granted what a special organisation it is. So we decided to create this special booklet to celebrate the very best of our community. This is just the tip of the iceberg - the examples weve crammed into these pages are replicated all over the country, many times over.

    When jogscotland started in 2002, it was a health intiative more than a sporting one, and its Walk, Jog, Run message was perhaps a little at odds with scottishathletics focus on supporting clubs to develop high-performing athletes.

    But the idea gradually caught on that jogging could entice people not catered for by traditional athletics clubs.

    People volunteered to train as Jog Leaders - we have trained more than 3,000 in total Hundreds of new groups were formed, and across the country inactive people became active. Lives were changed. Lives were saved. jogscotland remains one of the most accessible, affordable ways to get active with a welcoming group of like-minded people.

    New recruits often wanted more than just regular classes, so we established Challenges to provide friendly, unintimidating 5K events around the country, often working with existing event organisers. The impact was felt by athletics clubs as new participants signed up for races and organised their own.

    A few groups evolved into athletics clubs and are now training the next generation of aspiring international athletes. Existing athletics clubs have also used jogscotland to reach out to parents and prospective members who might have lacked the confidence to pull on a club vest. New marshals, administrators and coaches are being nurtured. jogscotland is now an integral part of Scottish Athletics, not because it has to be, but because of its contribution to the sports infrastructure and development.

    At the same time jogscotland remains true to the vision it began with. We open our arms wide to the first-timers; those lacking in confidence; whose health is poor; who hated school PE; who have no dreams of speed or competition, but who think they might like to live a healthier, happier life.

    jogscotland has a unique role and membership and is not easily pigeon-holed. It has created a world which celebrates participation by everyone, and supports achievement by the very best.

    Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport, stated in her recent consultation on the future of UK sport: We need to start thinking of participation as a means to an end and not necessarily as the end result.

    jogscotland has been doing both for many years and continues to do so every day.

    lets celebrate!Billy Mitchell, Head of jogscotland


    lets celebrate!

    lets celebrate!

    jogscotland is many things to many people: A helping hand for those who want to improve their health or lose weight; an hour for new mums to get together; the chance to volunteer; an after-school club; a lunchbreak leg-stretcher; a support through mental health problems; a friendly face in a new town; a step towards a more positive future; a chance to break new boundaries.

  • lets celebrate! We're everywhere!

    Jog Shetland is run by Jill Hood, one of the trained Jog Leaders from NHS Shetlands Health Improvement Team. Jill says: From a health improvement perspective its a great opportunity to get people who have been inactive to become more active.

    The group is aiming to build up from complete beginners to being able to run 5K in time for local mental health charity, Mind Your Heads 10th Anniversary Fun Run.

    Running with a group offers an opportunity for the members to their build confidence, ask questions and motivate one another. We didnt expect to have so many people interested in jogging - we offered the first week as a come and try session and were amazed to have 23 participants.

    Each week the group have progressed and surprised themselves with what their bodies are capable of achieving. One member said: Its hard to believe that only a few weeks ago I was struggling to run for 3 minutes, and now Im up to running for 20 minutes without a break!

    Theres a great running community in Shetland and people are very supportive no matter what level youre at so we hope that once the 5k event has been and gone people will continue to run for fun and fitness.

    Jogging Buddies in Renfrewshire and is open to all from beginners to experienced runners.

    In 2003, Jogging Buddies started with a group of 15 mums from Ralston Playgroup in Paisley. Twelve years later they are still going strong! They now have eight groups with over 200 members walking and jogging each week, and 40 active leaders.

    They pride themselves in being a community organisation and recruit, support and train local people to lead their groups. Most leaders started with them as beginners.

    Janette Edoni, Jog Leader for Erskine Jogging Buddies, said: When I came to Jogging Buddies I had never run before. I was made very welcome and encouraged every step of the way, even the front runners would ask how I got on. Its very much a running family with every level included. Running has now become an important part of my life and definitely helped with my confidence.

    They organise a number of annual events locally and now offer Buggy Buddies, Bike Buddies, Walking Buddies, Girls on the Run, Parkour and Hearty Lives. Across all their activities, they have approximately 500 weekly in their classes, with the youngest participant just two months old and the oldest 91!

    jogscotland is getting the entire country active. With thousands of members, spread from the city streets of the central belt to the rural trails of the Highlands and Islands. Meet two of our far-flung groups


    Theres a great running community in

    Shetland and people are very supportive no

    matter what level youre at.

    lets celebrate!

    lets celebrate!

  • At her heaviest, Rachel Cox weighed 19 stone. When she decided it was time to lose weight, one of her friends suggested she should try joining the jogscotland group Monkton Milers. She recalls: I was a wee bit embarrassed when I started, but the Jog Leader Bobby really put me at my ease. He was so encouraging that I couldnt wait to come back. I cant understate how fabulous he was with me that week.

    But the great thing was that, although I was slow at my first jogscotland session, I didnt feel self-conscious at all, because I got a huge round of applause - I couldnt wait to go back and it made me want to try harder.

    Ive lost seven stone since then. Its life-transforming, it really is. Ive spent most of my adult life obese and Id gone into the very obese category, with a BMI over 40, when I joined the Milers.

    Since I lost weight and got fitter, my blood pressure, which was high, has normalised too. I realised I was looking at being a statistic and I that wasnt the kind of statistic I wanted to be.

    Now Rachel is a jogscotland Jog Leader and inspires others to get active.

    Lucy Smith was an active youngester until a series of injuries and illnesses stopped her in her tracks. She began to put on weight and over the next 14 years continued, until she reached a size 26.

    When Lucy was told she needed her gall bladder removed, she started to improve her diet and to exercise, completing a 10K race. She says: There was a local athletics club but I didnt feel confident enough to join them. I found jogscotland online but the closest group was an hours drive away.

    I was feeling really nervous about attending my first session but I had nothing to fear, everyone was really friendly and made us feel so welcome.

    I made the long drive twice a week as I enjoyed the group so much. The Jog Leaders at Fort William even funded my Jog Leader training so I could set up my own group Mallaig jogscotland, in my home village.

    I have lost a total of 9 stone. To anyone out there who is thinking that they are too big to run think again! I soon realised that other runners dont care what you look like. They are secretly thinking Good on her! We are all part of a larger running community and thats what really matters.

    We know that exercise combined with a sensible diet can help people achieve and maintain weight loss. And at jogscotland, everyone is made to feel welcome, whatever their size, shape, age or fitness! Meet some jogscotland members who have used our groups to help them lose weight and keep it off!

    lets celebrate! Weight loss

    To anyone out there who is thinking that they

    are too big to run think again!

    iv lets celebrate!

  • Meet Christine Garvie, one of our longest-serving Jog Leaders, and find out why she still finds it so rewarding, after 12 years!

    My sporting activities ended on leaving secondary school in 1964 and it was not until I reached my mid-thirties that I was inspired by a neighbour to take up jogging as a way of getting fit again and kicking my 20-a-day smoking habit.

    The running bug spread to our husbands and children, and before long we all became members of our local athletics club, regularly competing in all sorts of running events from cross country to marathons. Rediscovering my competitive nature, I went on to pick up a few championship wins along the way and I reckon my performance peaked at the ripe young age of 50.

    Gradually I began to realise that my achievements (although modest in comparison) had developed mostly through the help and encouragement I received from my fellow club runners. With this in mind I felt inspired to give something


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