In an exclusive partnership, King’s College London is the first university to have its own GoodGym run. GoodGym is a community of runners that combine getting fit with doing good. They stop off on runs to do physical tasks for community organisations and to support isolated older people with social visits and one-off tasks they can’t do on their own.
King’s GoodGym runners help a different local community organisation each week! It’s a great way to stay in shape, meet new people and do some good, exploring parts of London that you might not know all that well. GoodGym promotes a social and welcoming atmosphere for runners of all abilities, meaning you can go at your own pace and run leaders ensure that no one ever gets left behind.
Alyx Murray-Jackman, King’s GoodGym leader, has been instrumental in getting the programme up and running, highlighting the benefits it provides for runners and charities alike:
“In terms of looking after your own wellbeing, GoodGym ticks so many boxes! There are the obvious health benefits associated with running, however pairing this with volunteering is really what makes me love GoodGym. It seems strange that dedicating some of your time (after an already busy day at King’s!) to volunteer at a local community organisation will actually help you clear your head, but this is definitely what happens. It feels fantastic to help at all the charities, nurseries and other organisations around King’s that are doing some great work to make London a thriving community.”
Amy Kellehar, Associate Director of Student Success, is one of King’s GoodGym’s members. She praises the enthusiastic and supportive environment of the group:
“I first got involved in GoodGym when they held their Team London Run event in June 2017. I’d heard about the organisation in the past, and as a keen runner and volunteer it was something that I had been interested in attending for a while, but I was a little nervous of running in a group. When King’s announced that it would be coordinating a group for the Team London Run it gave me the push I needed to give it a go, and I enjoyed it so much that when King’s set up its own GoodGym run, I joined up.”
“For me, GoodGym offers the perfect combination of connecting with and getting to know new people, doing something good for society, and getting fit. Alyx, who runs the King’s group, is so enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive and really helped put me at ease about running as part of a group. The greatest benefit from that I found from the GoodGym format is that, because you are running to help others, you are far less likely to drop out or put other things ahead of the session – it forces it to become a priority for you, which ultimately is better for your health and better for society!”
The King’s GoodGym sessions take place on Tuesday evenings, starting at the Macadam Building’s reception, Strand Campus at 17.30 for a 17.45 start. The runs are typically between 2 and 3km to each task, and runners stop for a quick fitness session on the way back – all runners get back to the campus for 19.15.