Emma is the founder of I Can Run CIC, a women's only running 'club' with groups in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Bury, Stowmarket and Needham Market. The club itself has gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years where it was nominated last year for club of the year as part of the Suffolk Sports Awards.
Since before lockdown even became official Emma was already thinking of ways to ensure that the runners from I Can Run remained motivated and active. Once lockdown was introduced, the group were unable to meet for their runs, however Emma introduced the hashtag #ICanStayActive for use on social media, allowing runners to share all their activities (not just running) and therefore provided inspiration and motivation for everyone to do something.
Emma worked tirelessly to ensure the group were well connected during this time, knowing that this was one of the main benefits for those that regularly attended. Her efforts helped to combat and prevent social isolation and loneliness, whilst also encouraging physical activity, even if running was no longer an option.
I Can Run have three main values: Inspire, Motivate & Celebrate and Emma's work allowed these to remain! One member said:
"...I have felt less alone whilst also staying active during lockdown - knowing all the ladies from the club were in my phone felt like they were still there when I did go for a run, or a walk or a bike ride. I have no doubt that there are many ladies in our groups who wouldn't have remained so active throughout lockdown if it wasn't for I Can Run and for that we have Emma to thank."
The I Can Run group is inclusive of all women, no matter of ability and Emma is constantly praised for the level of support she offers. One member said:
"Emma recognises that some of us need our I Can Run community to support each other. She set up I Can Run as a Community Interest Company and has been continually thinking how we support women during and after the ban on group exercise; concentrating on those that may not have to confidence to return to running."
A big thank you to Emma for being the lifeline for so many women during this time, it clear to see why her efforts have been recognised and why she has been nominated as a lockdown activity hero!