Samantha Holmes started her physical activity journey to benefit her own mental and physical wellbeing. She has gone on to help many more in her community, helping Active Essex to change 1 million lives. Ladies and gentlemen, our March One in a Million!

After suffering from several long-term health conditions, Samantha’s GP recommended becoming more physically active to help combat some of her symptoms. After plucking up the courage to join Pitsea gym, she soon realised exercise was not only helping her physically but mentally also. As she grew in confidence, she started to try new activities and soon got the ‘running bug’. After starting off not being able to run for more than a minute at a time, she gradually built up her stamina. More importantly Sam wanted to help other to get the same enjoyment of putting their trainers on and enjoying exercising.

Samantha HolmesSamantha said: “I plucked up the courage to join my local running club but felt I needed the fun and social aspect of it too. I believe that these aspects help encourage and motivate others like me to become active and included within a team. Running has become part of my daily routine.”

Samantha went on to fund her own place on a run leader course. Initially engaging family and friends, the group grew each week and numbers quickly grew. The Run Fit Club was born. The inclusive, buggy and doggy friendly run takes place in Northlands Park Pitsea. All sessions are free and open to everyone. The Run Fit Club’s ethos is that it isn’t competitive, but participants recognise the importance of being active and social in benefitting their health.

Samantha continued: “I have really enjoyed helping people, seeing them grow in confidence, having fun and ‘doing their thing’. I now can’t imagine not running. Anything is possible – don’t worry about other people and what they might think. If you want to do it – go for it. Don’t give up and if you don’t enjoy an activity that you try, there are lots out there, so try something else!”

Juliette Raison, Relationship Manager for South West Essex said: “Sam is a great asset to her community. The Run Fit Club has a friendly, welcoming and supportive atmosphere. She has recently become an Active Essex All Together ambassador to continue to inspire and motivate others to get involved in activity. She believes in getting everyone to move more and that is why she thoroughly deserves this award! Her Run Fit moto is ‘we’ve got this’ and we know that Sam has definitely got this!”