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Refugee Run Club, Backed By Coopah, Is Helping To Change Lives Through Running

Anour, Rawand, Mohammed

Refugee Run Club is a community interest company, working specifically with refugees in the UK.

The club, which is backed by Coopah, the official training app of the TCS London Marathon, has created a community-run club with the belief that running can help change lives.

Refugee Run Club

Refugee Run Club exists to support refugees and asylum seekers by creating localised running communities.

Through Refugee Run Club, runners are provided with appropriate kit, coaching and experience as well as other benefits such as social events, English lessons, mental health support, career and life coaching.

The club provides a purpose, improves physical health and importantly refocuses refugees mentally.

To recruit, Coopah works closely with a range of local volunteers through hotels and community groups, regularly welcoming new intakes of runners.

When refugees arrive in the UK they are often placed in hotels, given less than £10 per week to live.

They are banned from working, not integrated into society, and are subsequently left alone to suffer the horrendous traumas that forced them to leave their country.

Officially, 1 in 5 develop mental health problems. Based on experience, Refugee Run Club would argue that in reality, it’s nearly 100% of occupants.

Dan Strang, Founder of Refugee Run Club commented ‘As an organisation, a key mission of ours is to show refugees in a better light and tell positive stories about how they are integrating and positively contributing to society.

This is key, given the backdrop of negative news articles about refugees, which fuel stereotypes and further segregate refugees in the UK.

We’ve seen the positive impact running can have on the refugees, giving them a passion, a friendship and health! Our goal is to grow the club and community.

We have the vision of having a Refugee Run Club in every parkrun in the country, so we’re calling on more clubs and volunteers to reach out and offer their support.’

The club works hard to ensure that runners can experience amazing opportunities, such as taking on the challenge of the 2024 TCS London Marathon or the London Landmarks Half Marathon, all with the support of the wider community and of course the Coopah training app.

This year, Refugee Run Club has five runners taking on the challenge of the TCS London Marathon and ten runners taking part in the London Landmarks Half Marathon.

Taking on challenges like this and speaking openly about their stories, demonstrates that an individual is positively contributing to society and integrating themselves within the community.

As a result, this can strengthen a refugee’s asylum application, which is a key part of the support offered to the Refugee Run Club community.

If you would like to donate to the Refugee Run Club or offer to volunteer or support at one of the regional run clubs, please contact the organisation –