3 Women's Charities That Make Running Worth It
March 5th 2020
On 8th March, we celebrate International Women's Day, a call to action for gender equality and a global day to honour the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
We’d like to add one more achievement to list: women’s athletic accomplishments, both for themselves and for others (nearly two-thirds of those who run for charity are women!). While there are many reasons to run, in honour of International Women’s Day, we highlight three women's charities that really make running worth it.
One urgent issue to honor on International Women’s Day is the fight to end domestic violence against women. Women’s Aid is a grassroots federation that provides life-saving services for women, toward a future in which domestic violence is not tolerated.
The charity encourages people of all levels to run for Women’s Aid. You can sign up now for a range of challenges, from the Great Bristol 10K in May to the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October. With Women’s Aid, every penny you raise will go to supporting women affected by domestic abuse. Haven’t run in some time? Choose a race further down the road; it will give new or returning runners a chance to dust off those winter cobwebs and properly train and prepare for the challenge.
When you run for Women’s Aid, you may find motivation in knowing what a worthy cause you’re training for. One of the key campaigns of Women’s Aid is to make coercive and controlling behaviour a criminal offence. It also helps survivors of domestic violence, campaigns for government action, supports its membership base of 180 organisations, trains supporters to respond to incidents, conducts research on key issues and works with schools, communities and football clubs to educate the public.
Women in Sport
Sports have the power to transform lives. Women in Sport wants to make sure that women have an equal opportunity to experience these lifelong benefits of sports activities. The organisation researches different aspects of sport from a gender perspective and uses this information to inform campaigns and partnerships and drive change.
It’s fitting, then, that Women in Sport asks people who are taking part in a challenge to consider fundraising for their charity. Those that do get a special challenge participant pack, which includes a Women in Sport t-shirt, a fundraising guide, training tips, clappers for supporters and regular check-ins with the team for guidance and a sense of community.
Last year, the “first British female wounded, injured and sick team” (called the “Mind over Matter” team) cycled across the U.S. from coast to coast, raising money for Women in Sport. Leading up to the impressive challenge, Women in Sport shared the story so that other people around the world who were inspired by the Mind over Matter team could also pitch in a contribution to the charity. Read the full story here.
A Mile in Her Shoes
A relatively new charity, A Mile in Her Shoes aims to remove the barriers that prevent women from running, so that more women can experience the mental, physical, health and social benefits of exercise. Specifically, the charity aims to encourage women at risk of homelessness to run as a form of socialising and a way to boost self-esteem. The charity and its volunteers lead running groups for women, where all are welcome and everyone helps achieve goals, together. The charity even provides appropriate clothing and footwear for runners who need it.
A Mile in Her Shoes provides the perfect opportunity for those interested in running without the constraints of an organised, competitive race. The charity has an open call for paid “Community Coaches” who do on-site outreach to engage new members from partner organisations as well as other roles, like “Sole Sisters” volunteers, who deliver fitness and wellbeing sessions in the community. Something for everyone!
We hope this gives you a few ideas for how to make the most of your next run. Clearly, the benefits are many! What other charitable races do you have on your radar? We’d love to share a few tips we’ve learned along the way, so that you can raise the most money possible for any number of causes that support women and children. After all, International Women’s Day doesn’t start and end on 8 March, it matters every day and every mile.