Hawkinge Hurricanes are flying high following the announcement this month that they have become the first RunTogether group in Kent to achieve the coveted Clubmark status, normally the preserve of traditional track and field athletics clubs. Hurricanes was formed in February 2016 and have been recognised for the extraordinary progress they have made in 12 months.
Clubmark is the universally acknowledged accreditation scheme for community sports clubs. It aims to ensure the nation’s sports club infrastructure is safer, stronger and more successful and promotes higher standards of welfare, equality, coaching and management in community sports clubs.
Hurricanes is based at Hawkinge Community Centre, near Folkestone, where there is access to some of the most spectacular coastal trails in the south of England. Within a year the club has grown to 84 members and training is led by UKA Coach in Running Fitness, Sam Miller, supported by five qualified running leaders, a welfare officer and mental health ambassador.
The fully inclusive membership includes two registered disabled athletes and everyone is welcome to attend twice weekly running sessions; monthly external Bootcamp sessions with Functional Fitness; monthly Sunday trail runs and a quarterly track session at Ashford.
The club provides an annual 5k and 10k race and has a new FUNdamental 10-week course for complete beginners due to start on Tuesday, 18 April – building to a 5k Fun Run in week 10. With affiliations to UK Athletics and Kent County Athletics Association, the group welcomes all from novice to elite with its club motto: 'fun, fit and friendly'.
Six members are entered for Brighton Marathon – two are placed in the Elite start – and four will line up for Virgin London Marathon, including the Mayor of Folkestone, Mr Martin Salmon. Five athletes are competing in Race to the Kings 53 miles ultra-marathon in June.