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Run Richmond initiative promotes diversity and inclusion through outdoor movement

Run Richmond is an initiative dedicated to making our communities safer and more connected
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Run Richmond is taking place from May 2 to June 2, 2021, in eight neighbourhoods in Richmond.

A Richmond fitness studio is joining forces with other community members to promote inclusion, acceptance, diversity, and connection.

Shift and Lift Fitness is among a group spearheading Run Richmond, an initiative dedicated to making our communities safer, more aware and more connected through walking, running, riding and wheeling in different areas of Richmond.

“Richmond is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Canada,” says Leslie Reilly, one of the directors and owners of the studio.

“What we want to do is encourage that sense that you belong, I belong, we belong.”

The movement was created in part as a response to increased incidence of anti-Asian racism.

“This is a grassroots movement to raise awareness,” Reilly says.

“If you don’t see racism, you don’t take steps to try to change it. Awareness is key. Smiling and saying hello to your neighbours and people in other neighbourhoods helps create a sense of connection and belonging.  We all need to feel we belong.  We want movement to be the thread that joins together all the different parts of our community.”

From May 2 to June 2, 2021, participants are encouraged to run, walk, wheel, or ride 5 km or more in each of eight neighbourhoods in Richmond: Sea Island, City Centre, East Richmond, South Arm, Steveston, West Richmond, Hamilton, and Thompson. In adherence to public health orders, all COVID-19 guidelines and protocols will be followed.

The initiative is sponsored by Blundell Centre and supported by Lululemon Richmond Centre. Gloves featuring each Richmond neighbourhood will be available for all participants. As part of the initiative, Sanctuary Cafe will also be making a donation for every monster cookie sold.

Funds raised will go towards supporting the Richmond Multicultural Community Services organizations (RMCS). Participants are also welcome to donate to RMCS directly.

Alongside Shift and Lift Fitness, Blundell Centre and Lululemon Richmond Centre, individuals and groups coming together to promote the Run Richmond initiative include Steveston Run Crew, Leap Bodies, Venus Fitness, Sanctuary Cafe, Maki Performance Training, Tiffany Duzita, Lisa Greczmiel, Andy Hobbs, Heather Larson and Erin Lee.

To learn more about Run Richmond visit @shiftliftfitness on Instagram or email info@shiftandlift.ca.