Sports Makers Testimonial The Sports Makers initiative helps makes a difference to Local runners by recruiting, training and deploying 40,000 new sports volunteers to organise and lead community sporting activities across the country. After Claire, a runner from Swindon had completed the workshop as part of the Sports makers programme she felt empowered and confident enough to set up a running group called ‘Up and Running’ for people who had tried running before but who had become disheartened by the experience, either because they were overweight, had had a bad experience with other groups, or were older new runners. The Up and Running group now have a LiRF (leader in Running and Fitness) trained runner who gets the group together every Wednesday night for an hour to run a mapped route. As the group has evolved so has the training plan, with an easy pace option for new runners, a middle group who are able to run roughly 6k and a faster paced group who run up to 10k. The group has grown in size and now sees people not only running on the Wednesday night but also during the week and at weekends. Claire has always enjoyed running as a way to keep fit, keep trim and also meeting people so after learning how to support others she began to encourage fellow runners to take part in events such as:Park runs Race for life Cirencester 10K's Great North Run 5k Swindon 5K Swindon half marathon Julie one of the members of ‘Up and Running’, has found it helps keep her weight off and helps her get a good night’s sleep, has felt encouraged by Claire to keep running. Jackie has notched up over 40 Park runs and is signed up for the Great North run; she has also taken part in lots of other timed runs. The Sport Makers initiative aims to recruit, train and deploy 40,000 new sports volunteers to organise and lead community sporting activities across the country. It is part of the 'Places People Play' mass participation legacy, inspired by the London 2012 Olympics. Volunteers will attend a free workshop, delivered locally and organised by Wiltshire and Swindon Sport to gain a positive and inspiring insight into the world of sport volunteering. They are then encouraged to organise and support new sports activities in their communities, bringing the Olympic and Paralympic values to life! Just like Claire has gone on to do with ‘Up and Running’. Claire has found the best part is the camaraderie of running with a small group. They are all encouraging each other and are beginning to exercise in different ways such as Gym membership, Insanity and running more frequently outside of the group. Sports Makers has really made a difference to their lives.