The 261 Master Coaches take on an important role in our organization: The Master Coach team leads the Education Programs, especially the initial Train the Trainer certification courses for 261 Coach candidates. They deliver the 261 Fearless education and support future coaches in developing leadership skills and gaining female-specific knowledge about running, while on their path of personal empowerment.
We are proud to announce the Jennifer Thomas class of Master Coaches: Lorrae, Juliet, and Janette from the UK and Anna from New Zealand. In this blog, they share more about themselves:
My name is Juliet, I have been a 261 Coach for over 5 years in the London borough of Greenwich and alongside my fellow coach Lorrae, have had the privilege to lead meet runs in the beautiful woods on Shooters Hill which overlook London.
I have been running for over 20 years but linking with '261 Fearless' has completely changed my relationship with running. It is an absolute joy to lead a meet run with a fabulous group of local women who are mutually supportive and enjoy the pressure free environment of the meet run to play games, do drills and run in our wonderful parks and woods. Through 261 I have had the opportunity to join many run events. My favourites are the 'Women Can' Marathon in Devon which tested us all to the limit and also the Great North Run which had a great 261 presence and a personal send off from Kathrine herself. Being a coach with 261 taught me that when you take performance pressure away from your run, you can free yourself up to enjoy the company of fellow runners and soak up the mental health benefits of exercising outside.
I am extremely excited to be embarking on the Master Coach program, being part of the 261 community has enabled me to develop such a huge range of skills and develop the sense of belonging in my local community and being part of the UK and global 261 community. I look forward to developing my skills and understanding over the next two years and continuing my journey with 261.
Kia ora, ko Anna Bassett toku ingoa – hi, my name is Anna Bassett. I am one of the 261 Fearless coaches in New Zealand. I am thrilled to be joining the Master Coach Training Programme after four years as a Coach, firstly with 261 Fearless Club Howick then 261 Fearless Club Pt Chev, both Auckland based.
I was a runner as a child, then running became an activity that was easy to “travel with” in my many years of working at sea. I was always keen cover some mileage when my feet were on dry land. When I finally decided it was time to stay ashore, I followed my passion for health and wellness and completed a Bachelor of Sport as an “adult student”. During this time, I learned about 261 Fearless and put my hand up for a Train the Trainer course in Auckland.
This amazing weekend course, plus the ladies I met, made it instantly clear what a wonderful and worthwhile organisation this is, and I was hooked. New Zealand’s Covid lockdown gave us the gift of Kathrine Switzer stuck at her Wellington home, unable to leave owing to closed borders. Lucky for us, as we got to know and love Kathrine as one of our own, and during this time we had many discussions around growing our clubs. It became evident that we needed our very own Master Coach – so here I am!
I am so looking forward to this fantastic opportunity to grow and develop alongside Fearless 261 Club New Zealand. Who knows – we might even extend our reach to Australia!
Hi, my name is Janette Hannon. I started running about 20years ago and became a member of a newly established running group. It was a great group and so supportive, they encouraged me to take part in the London Marathon. I did this in 2001 and loved it. Not enough to do another one, but I really benefitted from running and continued. In 2012 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I ran through most of my treatment and if I couldn’t run, I still continued to exercise. This had a huge impact on my road to recovery. Whilst out on one of my runs I met Lisa Ruggles and we started running together. Lisa told me about Kathrine and 261. I was hooked. I had first-hand experience of how running was so beneficial. 261 fearless club Bicester was set up and in 2018 I became a 261 running coach. I have loved every minute of it. It is great to work with the other coaches and to watch our participants become runners. In 2021 we ran two 261 Activate You groups and they were a big success. For me watching the progress of these amazing women over 12 weeks was such an honour and so rewarding. We now have 2 clubs and its like getting a big hug every week! I want to help more women feel the joy of running and being part of a supportive and empowering community. I am looking forward to the Master Coach programme to learn more, achieve more and help more women.
Hi, my name is Lorrae Pratt and I have been a runner for more years than I can count and a coach in Greenwich, London, for over five years. Having always loved to run and appreciated the benefits, both physical and mental, my running buddy and co-coach in Greenwich, Juliet, and I always wanted to share that experience with other women. 261 Fearless gave us that opportunity and it has been a privilege to witness and be part of the running journeys of other women, to see the transformation and growth that running can bring. The opportunity to become a Master Coach was a no-brainer and I am truly delighted to be involved. I am excited to learn and develop and continue to contribute to 261 Fearless.
My name is Barbara DiGirolamo and I am a coach with 261 Fearless New England. I have been following 261 Fearless for a few years before I became involved, as there was no local group near me. I joined the club in May 2019 and was instantly interested in becoming more involved. I became a coach in September 2019. Previous to 261 Fearless I had been running for about 10 years, initially to fundraise for an organization that was close to me, and then more importantly for my health. It has been such an inspirational journey getting to see women encourage each other week after week and achieve goals they didn’t think possible! I’m looking forward to taking on this Master Coach journey as well.