These Girls Can! South Leeds Sisters Are On The Up!

Jordan Kelly

2016 sees South Leeds Sisters hit their fourth year and the group has started to gain numbers fast.  


Holly Button, Development Officer at Mini Mermaid Running Club UK, formed the only all-female running group in Leeds back in 2012.


A big promotional effort was launched to recruit more people after 6 weeks of the group consisted of only 2 people.


Holly Button said:


I got good responses from a group of women from weight watchers and a group of staff from John Charles Centre for Sport


The group got going from then and ebbed and bobbed for 3 years. We’ve really started to build our numbers now that we have a presence at Cross Flatts Park and word of mouth is spreading 


Now 8-15 runners strong, the group do a parkrun takeover once a year and half the members also enter events such as Abbey Dash. Some of the members plan to run Leeds half marathon later this year, which will be the furthest anyone in the group has run.


The running group now has 3 trained leaders there to support Holly, Hunslet Hawks Foundation and Cross Flatts parkrun have also recently teamed up with the group.


Phil Hodgson, 52, Community Director at Hunslet Hawks said:


As a community club we are keen to engage with all aspects of the south Leeds to promote the club and also the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The sisters fall into this category


We let them use our Phoenix Bar on Monday evenings for their training sessions. Going forward we will be holding a social run prior to one of our games that the sisters will no doubt be involved in


As South Leeds Sisters grows founder Holly has expressed her interest in helping other groups and communities in Leeds as well as expanding the group.


I’d like to use our funds to sponsor a community event, Mini Mermaid Running Club is looking for funds to host a running event for young girls and I’d like to provide support from our kitty


Holly is also organising a summer residential for the group to build numbers, in the hope that the group can eventually split into ability groups.


Right now, South Leeds Sisters are a beginner friendly running group. Women who feel they don’t know how to run, as well as complete newcomers make up the majority of the numbers. Holly works on the basics to build confidence from the start.


I tailor the warm up to build glute strength and look at running posture. I think the women see running as part of their weekly routine and it makes them feel happy


Sarah Tordoff, 44, HR Adviser for NHS Blood and Transplant and regular runner with South Leeds Sisters said:


I first joined the group in 2013, I had been going to the Cross Flatts parkrun and to be honest struggling with running


Sarah added;


SLS is such a friendly group, there are all different levels of runners at the group but I have never once felt that I was slowing the group down. Everyone is really encouraging and inspiring. Since joining the group I have made more friends than I could imagine


South Leeds Sisters run at various times throughout the week, including Mondays at 6pm, Wednesdays at 6:40pm and Thursday at 6pm. All of these runs start at John Charles Centre for Sport and aim to cater for all levels of ability.



For further details visit the South Leeds Sisters page on


Want to keep up to date with everything Run Leeds? Sign up now to stay in the loop!