Guernsey Girls Can- and did at the BWCI Mind 10k

10th September 2015

The recent BWCI/Mind 10k was a positive reminder that athletics in all its forms is open to men and women of all ages and abilities and reinforces the message that the local athletics club, the GIAAC, aims to be inclusive and to encourage girls and women in particular to enjoy athletics. Alun Williams, President of the GIAAC, explains the approach:

“We are fortunate, especially on the endurance side of athletics – the roadrunning and cross country races – that men and women/ boys and girls can compete together. That was demonstrated at the Mind/ BWCI 10k race when half of the entrants were female and thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of running 10 kilometers. It’s a similar story with most of our races. At the most recent Lee Merrien 5k in the park 40% of entrants were women.  The best part is that neither gender nor age plays a part in who are you are racing. My biggest rivals are Ray and Terry – both over 50, Samantha and Gill- in their 40’s and my daughters Tess and Rosie, both in their 20’s but beginning to leave me behind.

If women and girls begin to take the sport seriously then the opportunities available to them are endless. Of our top ranked senior athletes in 2014 half were female – Kylie Robilliard, Sarah Mercier and Nat Whitty and  our women outnumbered men in the Jersey island Games in 2015. We also all train together.

Some of the benefits of running include;
·         It’s all very simple – you just need a good pair of shoes, a supportive sports bra and everyone knows how to run –you can perfect your form with advice but for now just get out there and run
·         No other exercise matches running for its ability to make you work hard, sweat and give the heart a good old workout
·         All runners will tell you about the stress-busting powers of their regular jog. Nothing beats the feeling when you settle into a strong stride with a powerful rhythm. That’s why we are so pleased to link with Mind and support their work in promoting health and wellbeing
·         Most experts agree that regular exercise reduces the risk of many kinds of cancer, including some of the scariest: colon, breast, endometrial, and lung. Runners also have an advantage in the odds against heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and running has been shown to lower blood pressure, raise good cholesterol, and boost immunity to colds and other viruses

GIAAC are encouraging then setting targets such as competing in our cross-country series which starts on October really do help. Have a look at our website  on  for more information – GIAAC – Guernsey Athletics. You might also want to consider joining Lee Merrien running club. Lee can set training plans and you can join his training sessions. Again have a look at the link attached. www.leemerrienrunning.com”

Photo credit Phil Smith