Garden City Runners rally through lockdown to provide mental health support

Garden City Runners' Becca Hayden with team-mate Barbara Kubis-Labiak.

Garden City Runners' Becca Hayden (right) with team-mate Barbara Kubis-Labiak. - Credit: GCR

The light at the end of the tunnel for sports clubs is within view now and Garden City Runners will emerge from lockdown in a good place after the sterling work of their members. 

With actual races off limits and even group runs out of bounds, the athletics club have found it difficult at times to keep the motivation high and their solutions often required a lot of imagination. 

Chairwoman Jane Molloy, said, “I’m proud of how much we have done in terms of coming up with initiatives and unique challenges. We’ve had feedback from members that they have had so much more support from GCR than from other sports clubs where they hold membership. 

“It’s gratifying that so many have commented on the boost this has provided for their mental health.” 

And mental health was at the forefront of plans designed and carried out by Becca Hayden and Barbara Kubis-Labiak. 

Barbara Kubis-Labiak (left) with Garden City Runners' team-mate Becca Hayden.

Barbara Kubis-Labiak (left) with Garden City Runners' team-mate Becca Hayden. - Credit: GCR

They ran a total of 82 miles between them in a trail run around WGC, raising nearly £350 for MIND Mid Herts, the mental health charity. 

Hayden said: “MIND are an amazing charity that have helped me personally with my mental health over the years. 

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"During the lockdown they have provided care packages to everyone they support ensuring the mental wellbeing of everyone they help. 

"For me running is more than exercise, it provides me with a sense of release and escape. When I run all of my worries, anxieties and the pressures of daily life go away. 

"Nothing matters for that moment in time but the steps I make, the breaths I take and the feeling of being free. 

"This is my therapy. Running is something I crave, it makes me feel like myself again. 

"[All the virtual activities and challenges has] helped keep members connected and feeling part of the community. 

"It makes us feel that we are all in this together as one GCR family." 

Molloy added: “So many of our members have been brilliant in stepping up to offer support and challenges to others throughout all the trials of the last year.  

"We can’t wait for organised outdoor activity to resume and anticipate something of a party atmosphere at our own first club training night on Tuesday.” 

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