Mike’s story

We were thrilled recently to receive an email from Mike Jackson, a staff member in the Disability Services Team, about his positive experiences of GOGA and the influence it has had on his life. We love making a difference and are delighted to share this GOGA success story with you.

In March 2021, Mike took part in his first GOGA activities by participating in our GOGA step challenge. Over 150 staff members joined in, forming small teams to take on this exciting challenge. Mike told us that “the experience was so positive during the period of lockdown” and that the challenge brought new friends into his life. He went on to take part in other GOGA running challenges and a bike/run event.

We were thrilled to hear that not only did these experiences help him through lockdown but they also influenced him to join his local running club – Tadcaster Harriers. In the past 2 and a half years, Mike has been improving and immersing himself in athletics; setting club records and taking part in masters athletics. He’s won events across various distances and different terrains, including fell races and duathlons, in his age group.

A particularly proud moment for Mike came at the British Masters Track 10k Championships in Jarrow, where, at the age of 64, he secured an impressive 3rd place in the V60M category.

“Joining the running community has been a hugely positive experience built on the experience of the GOGA activities.” – Mike

In addition to running, Mike achieved another milestone by winning his first Duathlon this year. He’s now even trying his hand at freestyle swimming, with the possibility of a triathlon on the horizon. And with winter approaching, he’s looking forward to the Leeds Peco Cross Country Series.

Mike Jackson’s journey, from the first step challenge to becoming a competitive runner and athlete, is a proper GOGA success story. We are really proud that Mike’s story, starting way back in the ‘lockdowns’ of Covid, shows the positive impact of GOGA – bringing people together, inspiring them to take on new challenges, and changing lives for the better.

We would love to hear and share any other ‘GOGA Success Stories’ from participants, past or present, so if you would like to share your story with us, then please email us at getoutgetactive@leeds.ac.uk.

Similarly, if you are inspired by Mike and his running achievements but don’t know where to start, then come and give our free and inclusive lunchtime Get Out, Get Active Tuesday Run Club a go!