BAA will distribute $ 125,000 in unrestricted grants in coordination with the collaboration
BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) has announced the creation of the Boston Running Collaborative. The Boston Running Collaborative is led by representatives from the Greater Boston running and nonprofit communities and will provide leadership, oversight, guidance and support in the formation of the Boston Running Collaborative Steering Committee.
Scheduled to launch in January 2022, the Boston Running Collaborative is a new initiative that will include organizations and individuals committed to building a diverse running community in Boston, improving health and wellness, and expanding access to running and walking in Boston with a focus on communities of color. It is the culmination of a year-long dialogue with community leaders.
“The BAA has a long history of community-based programs that engage athletes of all ages and abilities,” said Tom Grilk, President and CEO of BAA. “The Boston Running Collaborative builds on our commitment to racial justice and our vision a world where everyone can access and benefit from running and an active lifestyle. We must intend to bring greater representation and diversity to sport and we recognize our role as organizers of the collaboration to support this. “
In addition to Grilk, the Boston Running Collaborative’s steering committee includes BAA’s director of youth and community engagement, Suzanne Walmsley, and director of athletic programs, Wayne Levy. The steering committee is also made up of five community leaders:
- Adrienne benton, member of the National Black Marathoners Association and Black Girls Run!
- Sherman Hart, Director of Athletics, Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center
- Thaddeus Miles, Director of Community Services of MassHousing and Founder of Hood Fit
- Kamilah Rowe, former head coach of track and field at John D. O’Bryant High School
- Ruben Sança, 2012 Olympian and Assistant Sports Director for Administration at UMass Lowell
The Steering Committee will guide the development of the Boston Running Collaborative, engaging individuals and community organizations in the identification, development and prioritization of running and walking initiatives.
“In these times of increased diversity, equity and inclusion awareness, we often talk about being invited to dance and being invited to dance. This collaboration goes even further, ”said Thaddeus Miles. “Providing a sense of belonging, where others and I can plan the dance and decide if we should have a dance. I am excited about the substantial impact and the change we can make as a collective.
The BBA will also increase financial support to organizations whose missions focus on expanding access to running and walking for youth and / or adults of color. In honor of running the 125th Boston Marathon, and in consultation with the Boston Running Collaborative Steering Committee, the BAA will provide $ 125,000 in unrestricted grants to organizations that have engaged with the BAA in this work. Grants will be announced prior to the 125th Boston Marathon.
In addition, the BAA is proud to support the Road to Wellness 5K for the seventh year with a contribution of $ 30,000. A community collaboration between Dimock Center, Hood Fit and BAA, Road to Wellness 5K aims to inspire healthy mind, body and spirituality through fitness and exercise, while celebrating history and Roxbury’s diverse culture.
“We are proud to be a founding partner of Road to Wellness 5K and have seen the event grow over time,” said Grilk. “The BAA strives to harness the spirit of the Boston Running Collaborative to identify models such as Road to Wellness so that we can continue to engage diverse communities in running and walking. “
Since 2015, the BAA has partnered with the Dimock Center and Hood Fit to support the Road to Wellness 5K. The race is free for all participants, which helps remove any potential financial barriers that would prevent community members from participating. The 2021 Wellness Route will take place on Saturday 11 September.