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Cruise line brings sporting groups to South East England

Cruise line brings sporting groups to South East England

A programme that boosts the support available for those looking to improve their fitness through running has now expanded from London to cover the South East counties of Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex.

Launched in early 2012, the first Royal Caribbean Runner groups were only available in London. This summer, the investment from cruise line Royal Caribbean International and delivery partners Sport England and Run England, means that new running groups are setting up and growing throughout the South East.

Designed to get people back into running, or to encourage first-time participation in the sport, the dedicated nine-week running programmes aid people in making sport a part of their day-to-day lives. Not just for hardcore fitness fanatics, the new running groups are all about growing grassroots participation in the sport and getting people to see the many benefits that come from staying active.

Royal Caribbean Runners are supported by former Olympic gold medallist Sally Gunnell who is an ambassador for the Royal Caribbean International led initiative.

Royal Caribbean International is the world’s most innovative cruise line and leads the way in the scope and range of facilities onboard its ships. The cruise line also offers an onboard version of the popular Royal Caribbean Runners programme on its Southampton-based cruise ship Independence of the Seas designed to aid holidaymakers in getting, and staying, fit.


As well as running, the cruise line is credited with bringing sports such as surfing, rock climbing and ice skating to life at sea through its comprehensive on-board facilities. Gyms onboard Royal Caribbean International ships are some of the best in the fitness world – on one ship alone there are over 158 fitness machines. Royal Caribbean International’s ships sail throughout the world, including from UK ports of call.

Commenting on the programme, Sally Gunnell explains:
“There is simply no better time to get healthy than right now. Fitness has always played a key part in my life and I’m thrilled to be sharing this passion to help get people motivated and taking their first running steps – whether it is on land or at sea. Getting involved is easy and whether you’re a seasoned athlete, a weekend warrior or a beginner looking to start your first run, the Royal Caribbean Runners groups throughout the South East make it fun and easy to take the first steps.”

Running groups are established in partnership with Sport England, the organisation helping people and communities across the country create a sporting habit for life, and delivered by Run England, the official England Athletics recreational running project to which aims to get the whole nation running. Both running group leaders and running group members receive incentives to aid a sustained commitment to the sport.

Sport England Chair, Richard Lewis, said:
“Our latest research has shown that almost two million people are taking part in athletics, including running, every week.  With so many people involved, it’s fantastic to see this programme being rolled out further so even more people can discover the joys of running and develop a sporting habit for life.”