The Recovery Runners Officially Launch!

Rachel Atherton

Sunday 1st August 12pm marked the official launch of the running club recovery runners. The launch event took place at Leeds Dock with 60+ participants meeting at the Glass Box – the new home and meeting point of the running club. With a 10k run, 5k walk and cuppa’ tea and biscuits on offer – it was not to be missed.

The recovery runners club was founded earlier this year by Dean Smith and Jamie Heselden and was initially developed to use running to support a small group of people who were recovering from an alcohol addiction. However, the club has grown to be more than this, and now welcomes anyone who is curious, or uses the benefits of running to recover from, or manage challenging life events or addictive behaviours.

The launch marked the start of the new regular weekly session, in which the club will be meeting every Sunday at 10am down at the Glass Box – Leeds Dock (LS10 1EG).

The support received for the launch was spectacular, with the likes of former Leeds Uniter player Dominic Matteo and Leeds professional boxer Jack Bateson both in attendance.

Dominic Matteo said:

“I’m really excited for the guys and this new venture, and happy to be here supporting. After playing for Leeds United it’s so exciting to see things like this being set up here in Leeds as I feel like I have an association with the city. The idea of what they are trying to do is so motivating, and to see people taking a leap and talking to one another by joining a club like this is just so important. The guys have been so brave to set up the club”

Jack Bateson said:

“I have a real passion about seeing people get physically active and I’m pleased to be able to show my support by being here today. Dean and Jamie are so brave by setting up the club, and I want to do what I can to help as some people in the city can need a helping hand. If I can use my influence and social media platform to raise awareness for Dean and Jamie then I will do so.”

Jack, Jamie, Dean & Dom

Jack Bateson and Dominic Matteo with Dean and Jamie from Recovery Runners

There was further support from the fantastic running community itself here in Leeds with the likes of South Leeds Lakers and Bramley Breezers all in attendance, and various community organisations such as Slunglow. Some attendees had even travelled from Sheffield to show support, which just demonstrates the reach and impact of the work recovery runners are doing.

Dean and Jamie had the following to say about the launch

“We were taken aback and overwhelmed by the amount of support and love that was shown to us on Sunday. Seeing the fabulous turnout and people of all different walks of life going through different survival journeys was just amazing and reminded me why we started this in the first place. As we say, exercise is so important to mental health and well-being and this is only the start for recovery runners. I am so excited for the future and grateful every day for the support”


This is just the start for the recovery runners and I’m sure that there will be lots of exciting stories and developments to share going forward as they continue to carry on ‘healing souls with soles’.



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