Plogging away with Windrush Triathlon Club

Published:

As a way of keeping connected with one another, staying active and supporting their local environment, Windrush Triathlon Club started plogging during lockdown.

Plogging is a Swedish invention that combines jogging and picking up litter, helping participants to get fit and take care of their local area at the same time. The name comes from merging the Swedish words for pick up “plocka up” and jog “jogga” and was something Tim Northam, one of the club’s running captains had come across whilst working in the country.

“Facing the prospect of no club training due to the lockdown, the normally buzzing sports WhatsApp forums and Strava dashboards had quietened down and the mood was miserable,” Northam commented.

“I put together a virtual competition to help drive club togetherness, support charity fundraising, maintain training and fitness. This competition had an added bonus of supporting improvements to our local areas and environment. 

Above: Windrush's Plogging Champion trophy

“It was a friendly competition, rewarding members for pushing to new PBs, hill reps, maintaining all important S&C and brick sessions. I threw in a new interesting twist from an activity I saw a number of times working in Sweden a few years ago.”

This activity was plogging, a relatively unknown thing in the UK however the club’s members were keen to get involved with the twist on a traditional run.

Allowing them to carry on keeping themselves active and benefitting the local area, plogging soon took off at the club.  

“I added plogging as one of the highest rewarded activities (next to running a marathon) to help encourage members to plogg away,” Northam added.

“We started plogging around our local parks, cleaning up and running while getting the all important lunges while picking up rubbish. This proved quite popular leading to a new dedicated plogging trophy after Christine, one of our members, cleaned up most of the South East single handed.

“I’d like to think we really made a difference to the local parks and we’re actually looking at incorporating plogging occasionally into our regular weekly social jogs. Once places are cleaner people generally litter less and look for bins. I hope plogging becomes a national pastime like it is in Scandinavia.”

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