Ex-boxer Johnny is on his marks for national project

Get set: Former World Cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson helps launch the Run England event.

Get set: Former World Cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson helps launch the Run England event.

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RETIRED Sheffield boxing champ Johnny Nelson knows a thing or two about keeping fit, so he was the perfect guest of honour when a new national project to get people running was launched in the city.

The former World cruiserwight title holder joined Lord Mayor, Coun Sylvia Dunkley, plus some of the new converts to running outside the Town Hall to mark the creation of Run England.

Forner World Cruiserwaight champion Johhny Nelson helped launch the Run England event at the City Hall

Forner World Cruiserwaight champion Johhny Nelson helped launch the Run England event at the City Hall

The national project aims to get more people out jogging and residents are already answering the call by joining a number of running groups which have been set up around the city.

At the launch, all were dressed for the occasion, in T-shirts, trainers, shorts or jogging pants - apart from the Mayor, who was more formally-attired in her chain of office.

Project leader Geoff Wightman said: “Run England is here to get as many people as possible enjoying running as a form of exercise by supporting and encouraging people to join running groups.

“More than 3,000 people signed up to take advantage of the benefits that Run England offers in its first 10 weeks, many in the Sheffield and Yorkshire area.

“We hope many more people will join Run England as an opportunity to take their first steps into regular running.”

Run England said Sheffield is ‘leading the way’ with a number of Run England Groups already set up thanks to the work of local athletics clubs, Sheffield Council and our local Run England project worker Emma Slater-Clayton.

Emma, along with local club members and Run England group leaders Shaun Rodgers, Team Manvers Group, plus Gaye Fletcher and Andrea Barber, of the Wisewood-based Strideout Group, also attended the launch.

For information about Run England log onto www.runengland.org.