Five of the Lavender Court Gang – Mick Ennis with Silvia Hunter, Brian and Brenda Twaite and Sandy Hopkins.Picture: submitted.

ATHLETICS: Lockdown measures are easing and people are able to meet in larger groups for exercise and, specifically, athletics training. 

The Ryston Runners AC strength and conditioning training sessions, hosted by club coach Rebecca Tuff have now dropped to once a week – Mondays from 6.30pm, available via live transmission on the club’s Facebook page.

One member who has been busy keeping himself and others fit and active is 78 year- old Mick Ennis.

The club stalwart had been sidelined by various injuries for two years and had targeted 2020 for his comeback.

Combining club and Get Into GEAR sessions with his own runs a few times a week, he was gradually beginning to get back into some kind of form when coronavirus began to emerge.

“I was told I would have to stay in my flat for 10 weeks and only go out for exercise for an hour a day,” he said.

A neighbour asked if he could do something to help his neighbours keep fit and sane and so the The Lavender Court Gang was born.

Six people, all over 70, do exercises together every other day, adding to that in their own time.

They joined up with the  Downham Games group and will be presented with medals.

Ennis has started going running on his own and suddenly realised he was comfortably covering 9K again. 

“I did my first 10K on April 6 and last Saturday completed my 38th in my Virus Series, as I call it,” he said.

“I am hoping to complete 50. Doing three a week seems sensible, as I don’t want to end up injured again.” 

Ennis is often up and out on the road well before 6am, something that comes relatively easily to the former milkman and Royal Mail employee.

He has completed most of the runs alone and in well under 75 minutes, although he acknowledges the distant support of other runners and club members he sees in passing.

He is also blessed with support from his ‘angels’, not least among whom is his late daughter, Sharon, who died five years ago this week.

λ The Athletics Norfolk annual awards event was held online and featuring Ryston’s Rebecca Tuff as MC and organiser.