Free Richmond walking event returns this week

Here is some good news for people who are eager to get out of their homes, see more of nature and stay fit.

Walk Richmond will hit its stride again June 18 at Richmond’s Minoru Park, after being temporarily laid up by the coronavirus pandemic.

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“For me it’s about building relationships and community,” said Sharon Meredith, Walk Richmond coordinator. “It’s about feeling safe and enjoying the outdoors. It’s about getting our neighbourhood out and walking as well.” 

In fact, Meredith was not just the coordinator but a regular participant before everything was shut down due to the pandemic.

The walks will be held every second Thursday at 7 p.m. and Wednesday at 10 a.m.

However, to abide by provincial health guidelines, the number of walkers will be limited and participant have to pre-register. No drop-ins will be allowed. 

As a free, five-kilometre walking program, supported by the city and operated by the Richmond Fitness and Wellness Association (RFWA), the focus of Walk Richmond isn’t the finish line, but the sights and people walkers encounter along the route -- it’s a combination of history, sightseeing and making new friends, according to Meredith. 

“We know a lot of walkers come back over and over again because they have made new friends on their walk. I think what we are doing isn’t only increasing our physical fitness but also increasing our sense of community and belonging,” said Meredith, adding that many heartwarming and inspiring moments emerge from the walks. 

For example, Meredith recalls a woman who had recently immigrated to Richmond and joined the walk with her three young sons. These boys were excited about the opportunity to explore outside while the woman, who spoke little English before living in Richmond, was able to practice English with fellow walkers.

“Everyone was so kind, helping her with English. It’s a huge success story - not only could her children get out, but the woman felt that she belonged to the community as well,” said Meredith.

For more information about WeWalk Richmond, visit the official website or via the call centre at 604-276-4300.

 

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