Run Wales

Run Wales and Mind Cymru: What it Means for You

In case you missed it, last week we were thrilled to be part an event at the Senedd, attended by MS Jon Griffiths and figures from across the South Wales running scene. The event marked the official launch of the new and exciting partnership between Mind Cymru and Welsh Athletics. The partnership aims to improve mental health within running communities through the power of running.

So what does the partnership mean for our social runners and others in the Run Wales Community? Read below to find out:

Funded Training of Mental Health Champions in Social Running Groups

This is one of the central features of the partnership. Designated members of Social Running Groups will be able to access training to become a mental health champion, allowing them to assist other group members and become a point of contact for runners who wish to seek support.

Following training, each champion will be able to:

  • Confidently start conversations to support or improve the wellbeing of those experiencing mental health problems
  • Challenge stigma and signpost to mental health services
  • Help spread the benefits of movement for mental health within communities
  • Support people to start, continue or return to running

Increasing Awareness

The partnership will serve to increase awareness of mental health issues within the community, as well as the existence of support services offered by Mind Cymru through its Infoline and expanding network of local Minds. We know how beneficial running can be to get us through tough times and we’re looking forward to continuing to share the message!

James Williams, CEO of Welsh Athletics, said:

Our mental health champions can not only support existing runners, clubs and groups, but also widen their reach in communities by embedding and promoting the messages about the benefits of running for mental health.”

“The partnership will also improve the approach to mental health across Welsh Athletics and its programmes including Run Wales by embedding mental health into existing programmes and communities

Jonathan Tidball (Just Run Penybont), spoke at the event about the significance of support within running groups:

When I was going through a bit of a tough time in my personal life, running really supported me. It gave me the avenue to have that initial conversation and that initial chat.

We’ve already recently had people who have had their struggles and been unable to run, yet through the social running group we’ve been able to get them back out and back on their running journey.”

This is the first partnership of its kind in Wales – improving mental health within running communities and using the sport to promote the wider benefits of physical activity. We were especially excited to get going and we’re already on the move.

Both organisations are currently piloting the Run Champions role throughout a small number of clubs and groups in Wales with the plan to roll out to all groups and clubs in the coming months.

We’ll be reaching out to social running groups in the near future to tell you more about what’s going on as well as future details for how you or your group can get involved! So, be sure to watch the Run Wales website and our social channels for more news and updates in the future!

You can also visit Mind’s Website or Mind Cymru on socials to find out more and keep updated!

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