Doncaster’s newest athletic club, Danum Harriers, has quickly got into its stride.
Formed earlier this year by a small group of former Doncaster Athletic Club road runners, the fledgling club - based at the Sportsman on Armthorpe Road - is on course to end the year with a membership around the 50 mark.
“Without wishing to be critical of Doncaster, we didn’t feel road runners were valued as much as the track and field athletes,” said chairman Kevin Thompson.
“We also felt that there should have been two types of membership – one for track runners and one for road runners.
“It was almost like an experiment to try and bring new people into the sport.
“We basically wanted a small, very simple, club to cater for road and off-road running and to make it both welcoming and affordable.
“The model has proved successful and we’ve now got around 44 members and there are another three or four who are looking to join.
“Most of the members, 19 of which are females, are new to the sport and have never run for a club and have told us they wouldn’t have joined a big club like Doncaster.
“We’ve put quite a few things in place to attract new people.
“I lived in Leeds for two or three years and I ran for Pudsey and a lot of the things we do I kind of pinched from them.
“What we tend to do is have a quality training session on Tuesday night, which we all do as a club, and on Thursday we do a social run together.
“Our philosophy is that there are five other days for people to do what they want and on Tuesday and Thursday we run as a club.
“We always have an experienced runner acting as a sweeper at the back so that nobody gets left behind.”
Because the club is not affiliated to UK Athletics its members cannot compete in league meetings, but they can contest open events where the ‘togetherness’ is there for all to see.
“We had 15 runners competing in the recent Cusworth 10k and those who had finished stayed around to cheer the others on,” said Kevin.
“All the new members said how much it meant to them.
“We are really pleased how things are going and there is a fantastic atmosphere and it has become more than just running and people are making new friends.
Anyone interested in joining (you must be 15 or over) can just turn up on the night at 6.45pm.