Redlands Pace Mates putting fitness back on the agenda for people of all ages and ability after the coronavirus lockdown

A REDLANDS fitness group is offering people the opportunity to get active with others as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

FRIENDS: Merilyn McCann, Shirley Thompson, Matthew Williams and Bradley McCann are Redlands Pace Mates members. Photo: Jordan Crick

FRIENDS: Merilyn McCann, Shirley Thompson, Matthew Williams and Bradley McCann are Redlands Pace Mates members. Photo: Jordan Crick

Redlands Pace Mates, which started as a Facebook group among friends, now has more than 180 members and is inviting locals of all ages to run, walk or cycle with like-minded individuals.

Founder Shirley Thompson said the group was formed when coronavirus restrictions were introduced and had been a place for people to motivate each other while training in large groups was restricted.

She said the group had grown as restrictions eased and they were set to launch as a bona fide sporting group later this month.

"Originally it was started as a short term measure, we never really intended for it to be something long term," Ms Thompson said.

"What we have learnt is that people really want it to continue so I felt it was important to do that."

ON THE MOVE: Redlands Pace Mates invites people of all ages and abilities to get active outdoors now that the coronavirus lockdown has been lifted. Photo: Jordan Crick

ON THE MOVE: Redlands Pace Mates invites people of all ages and abilities to get active outdoors now that the coronavirus lockdown has been lifted. Photo: Jordan Crick

Ms Thompson said people could request a fitness session on Facebook at a time that suited them.

She said the group welcomed people of all abilities and would make sure newcomers had someone with them for support.

"We have regular sessions of running or walking on Wednesday and Friday mornings," she said.

"We have groups that get out on Saturdays and Sundays as well.

"We welcome walkers, to fast runners, and everything in-between. For those that are looking for a social ride, there is also an opportunity to do that.

"We are a group of like-minded individuals who come together to motivate each other.

"If you are active, or aspire to be active, then you belong within pace mates."

Weekday runs have been attracting 10 to 15 people but Ms Thompson said she expected group sizes to increase as temperatures warmed up.

Social distancing would be enforced at all times and government limits on gatherings would not be exceeded.

FITNESS TIME: Sunny afternoons on the Raby Bay foreshore could be a location for Pace Mates members to get active. Photo: Jordan Crick

FITNESS TIME: Sunny afternoons on the Raby Bay foreshore could be a location for Pace Mates members to get active. Photo: Jordan Crick

Ms Thompson, a registered nurse, said getting active also helped boost mental health.

"For a number of us in the group, to be out and social with somebody else or a group of people is part of our self care plan," she said.

"It is quite important that through this group we encourage others to do the same."

You can join Redlands Pace Mates on Facebook.

Read more local news here.