Everyone Active working in partnership with Basildon Council launched Backside to Trackside earlier this year to encourage 70 residents to sign up to get active over nine weeks as part of the 70th anniversary of Basildon New Town.
Over 70 participants were guided through a learn-to-run programme by Everyone Active's personal trainer Andy Stead as they built their fitness. They also supported each other and shared their progress, videos and photos in a facebook group.
Throughout the programme there were opportunities for participants to take part in other fun themed taster sessions including boxing, karate and walking football.
Last Saturday (13 July), around 30 people, cheered on by their friends and family, jogged, ran or walked 5k around the athletics track at Basildon's Sporting Village whilst a couple who were on holiday sent photos of their 5k run from Le Mans and more photos are still coming in from participants who couldn't make the event at the weekend.
Andy said: "The intention behind this programme was to get people thinking about their health and fitness and to give them the tools and knowledge to carry on past the event in a sustainable way.
"By speaking with the participants and seeing their posts on social media about taking up new sports and hobbies, walking to the shops rather than driving and making better food choices, I truly believe we have achieved our aim and it has been a pleasure to be a part of that."
The Mayor of Basildon, Councillor David Burton-Sampson, who was one of the participants added: "I am so proud of us all for supporting and encouraging each other - not just for the 5k run last Saturday but over the whole nine weeks. I'm sure all my fellow backside to tracksiders will join me in thanking our personal trainer and main cheerleader, Andy Stead from Everyone Active who motivated, prepared and got us over the finishing line which was a big challenge for a lot of us who had never run before.
"We also raised more than £500 for the Mayor's charities and I would like to thank everyone who contributed."
To find out more about the events and activities taking place throughout 2019 for Basildon New Town's 70th anniversary, please visit www.basildon.gov.uk/basildon70
Published on Monday 15 July 2019