Meet Our Winners - Active Club Award
Our Active Club Award Winner - Pink Ladies
Following in the footsteps of their namesakes - from the 1978 hit movie Grease, no less - Kate Trollone and her Pink Ladies are very much leaving a legacy for the runners of Lincoln.
With a founding philosophy built on encouragement and support, at the Pink Ladies women will find a safe way to get active, a fun place to build friendships and a like-minded network where bonds that weather both storms and sunshine are nurtured. Their supportive and welcoming ethos and inclusive philosophy as well as the volunteering the group do at local events, all impressed the judges of the Active Club Awards, sponsored by Street Tag at the Lincolnshire Sport & Physical Activity Awards 2023.
Re-writing the Runners Rulebook
Super-friendly and non-competitive, Kate founded the Pink Ladies in 2010 so that all ages and abilities could quite simply find joy in moving. Long before the name of Pink Ladies was agreed upon, as Lincolnshire's first social and empowering run club for women, this group was already rewriting the rule book.
“I had always enjoyed running at school, I wasn’t good at it but I enjoyed it,” Kate Trollone laughed. “For me running was such an accessible way to just get out and clear my mind. And for that time when I was running I wouldn’t worry about whatever was bothering me.” After school, university, and more than a decade teaching in primary school, Kate got married and welcomed children of her own into the world.
“It was at that point in my life that I joined a running group that had been set up in 2001, by The Women’s Running Network. I loved it and, given how much I have always enjoyed running, I decided to study and took a ‘Leadership in Running’ course at Bishop Grosseteste.”
From Ten Pairs of Feet to Hundreds
From the ten ladies who took their first tentative steps out with Kate - a UK Athletics Running Coach and Pilates instructor - more than 300 now proudly bear brandish the Pink Ladies name while getting their steps in and heart rates up.
“This was a group for complete beginners, women only, there weren’t many of them around. I wanted to target those who didn’t feel confident running alone or at all. It was more of a walk/run session with some talking in between, but at the end, a few of the ladies said ‘same time next week?’ and that was that! Running with others is so therapeutic; running with friends who make you laugh is one the most amazing things you can do. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, whether experienced or beginners, we’re all equal in the Pink Ladies.”
Self-care and Support as Standard
In a pledge to self-care that has seen many Pink Ladies start as ‘running buddies’, the group has birthed countless lifelong friendships. Ones that have helped Ladies survive house fires, and others that have held Ladies up until their last run. As Kate says:
“Pink Ladies is, and always will be, more than just a running club. We have supported each other through personal triumphs and tragedies, promoting the benefits of physical activity with every run and session.”
And, it isn’t just their fellow Pink Ladies that benefit from the group’s inspiring values. Their recognisable tops are often a welcome sight at other Lincolnshire sporting events, such as the 10k where the Ladies passed out refreshments and encouragement at the water station.
Running for the One Agenda that Matters
Various events have seen the Pink Ladies push the only agenda they have - the determination to use physical activity to positively influence any and every woman’s health and well-being.
From the weekly, coached run sessions the group has grown - and not just in number. Adding to the established running sessions, Kate expanded her skillset and started to offer strength training classes, then online videos - for women with busy lives who can’t join the sessions in person. Then pre and post-natal and ‘menopause strong’ focused classes appeared in the group timetable. Organically, as the women’s community flourished, so too did the support available to them.
Today, Kate and the Pink Ladies are supporting women in being active through every life stage. There is no doubt, the Pink Ladies deserves the title of Active Club of the Year, 2023.
Hear from Kate in the video below recorded for the Lincolnshire Sport & Physical Activity Awards:
Find out more about all our Lincolnshire Sport & Physical Activity award winners here.
Thank you to Active Club Award Sponsor Street Tag for Supporting this Award.