Club History


The Club was founded in January 2000 by Jimmy and Sandra Irvine who were seeking to develop a new club for the south side of Glasgow and were inspired by the famous New York Road Runners. Jimmy & Sandra worked tirelessly to build the Club from scratch in effectively pre-internet days, instead leafleting shops and carrying out fortuitous meetings in the street! A constituted association emerged, affiliated to Scottish Athletics, that steadily expanded thanks to the fantastic efforts of both Jimmy and Sandra.

Finding a home

For its first few years, the Club used a variety of venues and locations whilst growing its membership, before settling at Glasgow Ski Centre in Bellahouston Park, where then club President Oscar Wild was general manager. Membership grew rapidly as the Club developed a welcoming, friendly and inclusive reputation, with an endurance / performance focus also appealing.

Expanding our horizons

Emma Birnie took over from Oscar as President, seeing the Club develop its off-road offering with cross country participation increasing, and starting the popular Ben Venue hill race and the Bella 5k.

In 2008, through the leadership and drive of then member and future President, Richard Leyton, the Club was closely involved on establishing the first parkrun in Scotland, at Pollok Park.

We celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2010 when Robert McEwan was President and introduced the Jimmy Irvine Bella 10k that went from strength to strength under his tenure while working closely with Brian O’Donnell, who succeeded Robert as President in 2014. The event continues to be hugely popular.

The annual Presidents Cup 5k race in Bellahouston Park continues to be an eagerly anticipated summer challenge for members that embraces the inclusive ethos of the club.

Change and consolidation

The Club started a process of evaluating training venues, eventually relocating to Glasgow Club Nethercraigs in 2016 when Richard Leyton took over as President. We also started reviewing processes and governance, and thanks to a huge effort by Richard, subsequently became a charity in 2017.

We celebrated our 20th anniversary in early 2020 with a fantastic Indoor Mile event at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, that has gone on to become a favourite annual event. The emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic shortly thereafter saw a pause of training following national lock-downs, however the Club membership rallied in the best virtual sense and demonstrated a spirit of togetherness to ensure members kept active and in contact.

The Club led the way in returning to physical training in line with governmental guidance and was recognised by the Glasgow Sports Council with several awards namely ‘Club of the Year’, ‘Social Media Presence of the Year’, ‘Community Coach of the Year (Gerry Scullion)’ and ‘Volunteer of the Year (Richard Leyton)’. Scottish Athletics & Jog Scotland also recognised the Club with the award for ‘Impact & Innovation Club of the Year 2020’.

The legacy of coronavirus meant further change and in 2021 we relocated to Clydesdale Cricket Club where we remain today, continuing to grow and develop. Our current President, Emer Campbell, took over the reins of the club from Richard in 2022.

Honorary Lifetime Membership has been bestowed upon Jimmy & Sandra Irvine, Oscar & Jane Wild, Robert McEwan and Richard Leyton in recent years.

The Club will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2025.

Charitable status

Charitable status helped the Club to build strong foundations and give it a new determination to make a difference to our members and the community. With a member and community focused strategy, members can achieve their goals, contribute to the Club, and together build a positive and welcoming place.

Roll of Presidents

2000 to 2006 – Oscar Wild

2006 to 2009 – Emma Birnie

2009 – 2014 – Robert McEwan

2014 to 2016 – Brian O’Donnell

2016 to 2022 – Richard Leyton

2022 to current – Emer Campbell