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Club History

Building on the success of Cross Flatts parkrun, which started in 2013, two years later a few of the regulars got together, and with the support of Run Leeds and the Hunslet Rugby Foundation, formed the South Leeds Lakers Running Club.  The first social run took place on Tuesday 10th February 2015 with 19 in attendance.


12 months later the Club took the decision to affiliate to England athletics and in 2017 won the Yorkshire & Humberside Club of the Year award.  The decision to affiliate was not an easy one with concerns it would affect the decision to provide a free running club to the community.  The compromise was reached that Lakers would remain free to members and it would not be compulsory for individual members to affiliate to England Athletics, a model that continues to this day.  


The Lakers are always looking to evolve and in 2019 formed the junior section.  Once again providing free activity to the local community.  Over the years the Club has gained a reputation for hosting great races such as the Bah Humbug 10k, Vets League and West Yorkshire Winter League events, and are the self proclaimed Raffle Kings.


As well as being recognised by England Athletics the Club and Junior section have won a number of community awards, something we are all very proud of.  We even won the Hunslet Nelson cricket competition!!!


What’s in a name;

A number of names were considered for the new group back in 2015.  "South Leeds Misters" was in the frame when there was talk of a men only group to complement the highly successful South Leeds Sisters running club. South Leeds Sprinters was another option but was felt would give the wrong impression for a social running group.  Eventually South Leeds Lakers was decided on, giving a nod to Middleton and Hunslet lakes.


There was a suggestion to incorporate an “I” in the name. “Laikers” being an old north of England word that we wrongly believed referred to “playing” E.g. Are you laiking out.   However, further investigation revealed that the word “Laikers” actually meant Unemployable - South Leeds Unemployables was not the image we were looking for!!!

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