Ian Duggan has been nominated as a Lockdown Activity Hero following his efforts to support local runners to continue being active during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ian is a running coach from the Felixstowe Road Runners Club. Ian is a big fan of Parkrun and after the lockdown restrictions meant that events like this were unable to take place, Ian decided to set up a virtual Parkrun for his local community of runners. He worked to support runners to carry out their 5km run each weekend, upload and submit their efforts to him where he then collated and published the results on the community Facebook page.
"Despite having had an operation himself, Ian motivated, co-ordinated a weekly virtual Parkrun, including processing a results table each week. He gave people a reason to get their running shoes back on and go out and walk, run, jog 5k each Saturday."
Ian's selfless efforts have supported the local community of runners to stay active and continue to reach new goals during a challenging time. One runner said:
Ian has helped me to stay focused on my running and to keep working on my training and to do my very best. This has helped me to really improve not only my running times but to stay fit and healthy which in turn has helped my mental health. I've really enjoyed lock down because I had something to focus on."
Ian kept the weekly virtual run interesting by setting themes and encouraging each participant to share their photos which allowed the club to stay well connected whilst they were unable to meet face to face.
"We have continued to run as a family, getting all members involved in this activity on a Saturday morning. It has also continued our socialising with others throughout this time via Facebook. We have seen photos and results of others who have taken part, Ian has often given the group themes for photos each week too."
Members told us how Ian also motivated each runner by sending individual words of encouragement and congratulations.
"Ian has helped so many people when they have really struggled and felt down during these difficult times."
It is clear to see why Ian has been chosen as a Lockdown Activity Hero - well done!