Newcastle Frontrunners is a friendly and supportive running club where runners of all abilities are encouraged to progress in a variety of ways & try out different events from cross country to relays, parkruns to marathons.
Although primarily focused on increasing participation from lesbian, gay, bi- and trans-sexual athletes, they offer a warm welcome to runners of all sexual orientations. The club regularly gather into bars and restaurants to socialise and they also often host fundraising events for local charities. Quite noticeably, the members of the club range from all ages and abilities, making the club a very open place to be.
Founder of the Newcastle Frontrunners, Stephen said, “The running club was established in 2010 after I attended the Gay 5k Run in Glasgow. I felt there was an opportunity to do something similar for the North East and so I successfully applied for a lottery grant to establish a club and set up the first Newcastle 5k Gay Run. After a slow start, the club then grew to what it is today”.
Studies show that people of LGBT orientation do not exercise as much as they should because of barriers towards participation including: lack of confidence, fear of ridicule and stigma. Newcastle Frontrunners manage to make running opportunities for people accessible and affordable, which is how they have made the club a success by having over 130 members associated with the club.
In 2017, the club won an award at the Annual Volunteer Awards from England Athletics for North East club of the year. The win is a worthy triumph for the ground-breaking efforts made to combat the barriers that face the LGBT community.
Stephen continued to say, “The 5K run has also grown to now host over 800 runners. It links closely to the Newcastle Gay Pride, taking place on the first day of the festival. The run is a friendly, fantastic club which is open to anyone and there are several different levels of runs, and plenty of social events too”.