Ray Algar reports on the GoodGym initiative, in which running is given a social purpose.
GoodGym is a simply great concept powered by an insight that asks: ‘How do we make the act of running more purposeful and socially useful?’ Instead of running in circles around a park, a GoodGym runner embarks on a mission to do some good in their local community, either alone or as part of a group. Rather than run straight past that nursing home, why not stop and spend time with someone who’s craving companionship? Now the act of running is no longer a self-centred act but a generous and compassionate one. GoodGym runners can harness their energy for all manner of social and community-minded projects, helping them to “get fit by doing good”.
How the project started
Back in 2008, Ivo Gormley, an enthusiastic amateur runner was thinking about how to encourage more people to volunteer a small ‘slither’ of their time to help an elderly or vulnerable member of a local community. He wondered how volunteering could be made easier to integrate into someone’s already busy and frenetic life. So he posed the question: How can the physical activity a person is already doing be channelled into doing social good? It flips the idea of running to serve ourselves, to running to serve others.
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