Award for Richmond community running scheme

Team Caterpillar runners.

A Richmond community running initiative has been recognised by England Athletics at  their annual awards for Yorkshire and the Humber.

Team Caterpillar was shortlisted in the Run Together Group of The Year category, designed to recognise clubs that provides friendly, supportive and welcoming group running opportunities in their community.

Founded last year by Dionne Torkington-Craven, Team Caterpillar was set up to provide a supportive route into running without the pressure of races and targets.

Last night the hard work of Dionne and all members was rewarded with Team Caterpillar being crowned regional winners.

The group will now progress to the UK-wide finals with an official ceremony to be hosted in 2021.

Dionne said: “I wanted to create a community where the focus was on getting active and supporting eachother, not on how fast anyone can run or how far. We try to offer something for everyone from Couch 2 5K coaching to support towards completing half marathons.

“I had no idea they’d all been plotting between themselves – they gathered quotes, video clips and photos without me having any idea! I couldn’t believe it when our video came up on the screen, we wouldn’t have won without them and I’m so grateful for all the support they give me to keep Team Caterpillar going.”

Alongside encouraging members to get active, Dionne has hosted a number of fundraising events.

Collectively the group raised £170 for national food bank provider Trussell Trust, and most recently their October Mental Health Challenge raised £500 for Samaritans Northallerton.

Dionne added: “Almost all of our members are local people – so if we can support community projects as well as enjoying each others company and getting active then it’s a win-win. It’s a huge achievement that our efforts have been recognised by England Athletics.”

If you would like to find out more about Team Caterpillar click here.

All sessions are free to attend and meet at The Station, Richmond.