Lewes AC is proud to support women runners
Recent tragic events have highlighted the immensely important issue of women’s safety. At Lewes AC we take this very seriously, for our members, other people who run and take exercise outside, and for every single member of our community. We all have a right to run and walk our streets and Downs, to take exercise, at any time of day or night without fear of harassment. For many of us there are many barriers to exercising, fear and intimidation should not be among them.
Lewes AC provides a safe space for girls and women of all ages to run and take part in other athletics events. Since the club began in 1984 training nights have taken place in mixed groups, with a strong emphasis on respecting each other, as well as developing as athletes or simply keeping fit. Lewes AC is for anyone who wants to be active whatever their gender, age or ability.
Almost half of our 450 members are women and girls. Karin has been a club member for 23 years, pounding pavements and Downland trails. She has encouraged many new club members to achieve their first 5k or 10k runs. She says that “many members find friends to run with, share support and friendly advice when needed. Many of our runners feel much safer and can achieve more when running with others”
Lewes AC is proud to support the “Our Streets Now” a campaign co-founded by one of our younger athletes, Gemma Tutton. Through this campaign Gemma as an athlete is demanding the right of women and girls to feel and be safe in public space. Gemma is keen that women and girls should have the opportunity to enjoy the sport they love without fear of public sexual harassment: https://www.ourstreetsnow.org/our-mission
Women and girls think about and take extra safety precautions every time they exercise outdoors. This has been going on for too long. Now is the time to switch so that the emphasis is on what men can do to make women and girls feel safer.
Lewes AC is calling for everyone to show respect to women exercising outside. In particular:
- Saying hello to other athletes is part of the running culture so while a friendly good morning or good afternoon will almost certainly be returned, please don’t make comments, positive or negative about a woman’s running
- Don’t heckle from cars or vans, honk your horn, or drive slowly alongside a runner
- Keep your distance if you’re also running or cycling- Having someone running on your heels is intimidating. Give a wide berth or cross the road if you want to overtake.
- If you’re in a group be aware many women runners feel intimidated running past you, allow them space to get past don’t stare
Let’s all support girls and women to get outside and enjoy exercising.