Last updated on October 7th, 2021 at 07:00 PM
New Balance have now officially announced the first iteration of The Stolen Starts, a new global community of female runners that elevates these athletes, their stories, and the issues they are passionate about.
The name, The Stolen Starts, is derived from the deep inequality between women’s and men’s running, speaking powerfully to the reality of women being kept off starting lines throughout history.
With this move, New Balance will honour this year’s class of The Stolen Starts who are taking back those starting lines and epitomizing the ethos of the brands ‘We Got Now’ platform and setting the stage for future generations of this powerful group.
The Stolen Starts collective is made up of women who want to drive positive change in their local communities and although their goals might be different, running is what brings them together.
All over the world, The Stolen Starts runners are creating positive impacts in their communities (New York City, Los Angeles, London, Paris, South Korea, Tokyo, and New Zealand), and New Balance wants to welcome these women into the brand family and shine a light on what they have already accomplished.
The Stolen Starts group will participate in social takeovers, product development, curated seeding programs, member-designed racing kits, brand-sponsored event appearances, and collaborating with each other and the women of Team NB.
This specially selected group of women shows New Balance’s continued commitment to championing female athletes at every level, and though this is just the first iteration of The Stolen Starts, it will continue to function as a global catalyst for change every year.
“At New Balance, we have a long history of championing women,” says Samia Akbar, Global Running Energy Lead at New Balance.
“The Stolen Starts and the women who are part of this group will continue to toe the line over and over again expressing themselves fully and pushing progress in all of the ways that are meaningful to women all over the world. We are excited to be a part of their journey and continue to elevate their causes for years to come.”
The Stolen Starts is made up of 11 women from diverse backgrounds and located around the world. Each woman was selected to be part of this collective because they are outspoken advocates for specific causes in their respective communities. The Stolen Starts 2021 ambassadorship will include:
- Shareefa Radford (@shareefa_j) – London
- A model, presenter, body positive activist and ambassador for a mental health charity in the U.K., Shareefa is also training for the upcoming London Marathon.
- SoYoung Im (@run.soyoung) – South Korea
- An environmental activist who pioneered the “plogging” trend in her community to encourage people to clean-up the outdoor spaces they all share.
- Elodie Watrin (@melodie.cocorun) – Paris
- A talented musician who uses her platform to promote sustainable practices.
- Carly Gill Larios (@carlysheree) – New York City & Colorado
- A highly accomplished runner who is actively involved in her running community and with running groups across the country.
- Lizeth Aparicio (@lizethaparicio) – Los Angeles
- A founding member of LA based, all female running community, which aims to empower women in sport, as well as a vocal advocate for racial and social justice issues.
- Harkiran Kalsi (@harkirankkalsi) – London
- A renowned artist who uses her talents to address the issues of inequality and racism in her community.
- Her most recent work is featured in a touring sculpture collection to honour healthcare workers, which will feature in a tour across the UK.
- Vanessa Ong (@vaoism) – LA
- An advocate for discussing and normalizing mental health and has been raising money to provide students in LA with access to running gear so they can stay active and learn to use running as a tool to deal with stress.
- Symone Tafuna’I (@symonetafunai) – New Zealand
- A competitive sprinter who is currently the 3rd fastest in New Zealand in the 100m.
- Symone uses her platform to spread positive awareness of mental health and showcase her everyday lifestyle as an athlete on and off the track.
- Tammy Salazar-Andurand (@instatamagram) – NYC
- A running coach and leader of an all-female run crew that strives to amplify female and marginalized voices in the fitness and wellness community.
- Masami Yamamoto (@masami_macho) – Tokyo
- A Japanese DJ and radio personality who uses her influence to speak to mental health and wellness on her channels.
- Hong Pham (@nothongry) – Berlin
- A social justice and mental health advocate who is passionate about empowering underrepresented voices.
A mini docuseries that will dive deeper into the story of each member of The Stolen Starts will go live throughout October on New Balance’s YouTube channel as well as clips on the brand’s social handles.