Running group leader Elaine Leitch was awarded one of Glasgow's top accolades earlier this month at the Community Champions Awards organised by the Evening Times. Elaine of Jiggly Joggers was presented with the Lord Provost's Special Recognition award for her inspirational work with the East End group.
The Joggers were finalists in the group category at the jogscotland awards in November and followed up that recognition with Elaine's nomination for the Glasgow Community Champions award.
Following the presentation at the glitzy awards in Glasgow City Chambers, Elaine Leitch told runABC Scotland: "I was surprised but delighted to hear that the other girls in Jiggly Joggers had put my name forward for the Community Champions Awards. The award came after two great years for the group and really was the cherry on the cake.
"Jiggly Joggers was formed in February 2018 when two friends from my Slimming World group joined me to start a new running group. My previous experiences had been mixed and a spell with a running club, five years earlier hadn't worked out.'
Elaine continued: "I did have another go a few years later and with the help of the Couch to 5K app, I actually got all the way to the finish line at the Great North Run. Couch to half marathon in four months! Soon after I had an operation and a diagnosis for thyroditis which explained my problems with fatigue and weight."
Elaine was determined that she was going to have a healthy lifestyle as she entered her 40s and thought that a supportive group environment would help her to stay motivated and progress. That's when she approached her Slimming World pals – Annette Campbell and Annette Munoz – and Jiggly Joggers was formed.
The group motto 'nojigglyleftbehind' summed up their approach as Elaine explained: "Regardless of whether you are a sub-30 or a 90 min 5ker we will be there with you every step of the way! We are here to support and encourage everyone who wants to come and get fit through running!"
Of the big night when she collected the Lord Provost's Special Recognition award, Elaine said: "The biggest thing I took away from the occasion was the amount of amazing, inspirational people there are. My take-home message was ‘dare to be different’ and dreams really do come true! I am not the ‘stereotypical’ athlete but what I am, is someone who truly believes you can achieve ANYTHING if you want it enough."
Find out more about the Jiggle Joggers and 500 other groups in Scotland at the jogscotland website.