Building an Inclusive Running Community: LDN Brunch Club
As the founder and captain of LDN Brunch Club, I've spent the last six years fostering an inclusive running community in London. Our focus has been on striking a balance between fitness, diet, and the bustling city life. Our activities have ranged from weekly run sessions and strength conditioning to yoga practices and special events for occasions like International Women’s Day and Global Running Day.
Celebrating Diversity and Friendship
Our greatest achievement lies in bringing together hundreds of runners from diverse backgrounds, professions, races, and religions. The club has become a melting pot of friendships and relationships, transcending the shared interest in running into something more profound and enduring.
Achievements and International Representation
We've not only organised unique events like the LDN Ekiden relay race but also participated in prestigious relay events worldwide. Our members have proudly represented the crew in marathons and triathlons globally, from Tokyo to New York.
Adapting to the Pandemic's Challenges
Pre-Covid Era: A Community United by Running and Brunch
Before the pandemic, our Sunday runs in London culminated in brunches at various local cafes and restaurants, fostering strong community bonds and supporting local businesses.
Post-Lockdown: Rising Interest and Unfulfilled Ambitions
The pandemic brought significant interest in our community, with a surge in our mailing list subscriptions. We had ambitious plans for creating a 'Run Base' in East London to host wellness events and support local fitness initiatives. Unfortunately, these plans were hindered by funding challenges and other logistical issues.
Addressing the Funding Gap and Industry Challenges
The Struggle for Support and Investment
The lack of funding and support is a common challenge for Black business owners and entrepreneurs. Many partnerships and promotional opportunities presented to us often lacked financial backing, highlighting a broader issue within the fitness industry.
The Importance of Visibility and Representation
Reflecting on the Industry's Response to Social Issues
The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the subsequent protests, led to a wave of performative allyship from brands and businesses in the sports and fitness industry. However, genuine, long-term commitment to diversity and inclusion remains to be seen.
Personal Observations: Running, Cycling, and Triathlon
My journey in running and cycling has been marked by a lack of diversity in recreational participation, despite the prominence of elite athletes of color. Joining Run Dem Crew was a turning point for me, inspiring my marathon pursuits and leading to my involvement in cycling and triathlon.
The Road Ahead: Fostering Inclusion and Breaking Barriers
The Need for Practical Action in Cycling
While there are groups working towards improving diversity in cycling, the industry still faces significant challenges in making cycling more accessible and inclusive, particularly for minorities.
The Future of LDN Brunch Club and Industry Progress
As we navigate the post-pandemic world, I hope to see LDN Brunch Club reunite and witness the industry make strides in supporting and celebrating diverse communities in running and cycling.
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