Scheme to get Sintelliners off the couch

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An award-winning community sport project which gets people off their couch to running a full 5k in just 10 weeks is up and running again for the summer.

Registration is now open for St Helens Sports Development’s ‘Couch to 5k’ programme which has seen over 2,500 inactive local people get involved in physical activity by attending weekly sessions on Sutton Leisure Centre’s athletics track where they have slowly built up their fitness over 10 weeks.

Running from Monday, July 24 to Saturday, September 30, Couch to 5k – which was named Community Project of the Year at the Merseyside Sporting Champions Dinner 2016 – costs £10 for the ten weeks, which works out at just 33p a session if attended three times a week.

On the tenth week, participants have the option to run a full 5k on the track and then take part in the successful St Helens parkrun in Victoria Park.

Runners confident enough can then progress on to one of the many local jogging groups available.

Sports Development Officer, Gemma Harkness, said: “Since starting the programme in 2015, feedback has been phenomenal, with most people recording a weight loss, improvements in sleep, mental health, and general fitness.

"There’s no pressure at all because you work at your own pace in a safe and supportive atmosphere where trained staff are on hand to support you throughout the programme and keep you motivated.”

Sessions take place every Monday and Wednesday, 6pm to 7pm, and Saturdays, 9.15am to 10am, with week one commencing on Monday 24 July.