Brooks Running Launches Future Run Initiative to Empower Young Runners
Today Brooks Running launched Future Run, an initiative to champion youth and help them discover the lifelong benefits of the run and its community. An evolution of the brand's current community impact work, Future Run aims to reach 1 million young runners in the U.S. with a $10 million investment over the next five years.
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Brooks' Future Run initiative will support pathways and partners like Marathon Kids who help young people add running to their lives. (Photo: Business Wire)
Inactivity among kids is rising while budget cuts push schools to reduce or eliminate funding for physical education and activities. Screen usage among youth is up 50% compared to pre-pandemic numbers,1 and more young people are reporting poor mental health.2 Although Track and Field remains among the top sports in the U.S. for middle and high school participation (1M+) and among the lowest annual family spend for any sport,3 barriers to running remain and are more prevalent in certain communities. BIPOC youth make up fewer than 35% of U.S. runners ages 11-18, and girls and low-income youth experienced a significant drop in sports participation following the COVID-19 pandemic.4 Brooks' Future Run initiative looks to help clear participation obstacles for young runners nationwide.
"At Brooks, we believe the run can change a day, a life, and the world. It is a giver of strength, hope, clarity, confidence, connection, and so much more," said Jim Weber, CEO at Brooks Running. "With Future Run, we hope to make a positive and lasting impact on the next generation of runners and the future of our sport."
Physical activity gives children positive benefits that extend into adulthood, including lower levels of depression, higher self-esteem, and increased academic and workplace achievements.5 Since 2015, Brooks has invested more than $4 million in youth running by providing grants and performance running gear to middle and high school track and cross-country teams in North America, as well as through the Empower Her collection, a partnership with DICK'S porting Goods benefitting girls running programs through The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation beginning in 2020. Brooks also hosts the top U.S. high school runners in Seattle, Washington, where it is headquartered, to compete in its annual PR Invitational. With Future Run, the brand will continue that work with an expanded vision that amplifies national and regional running programs offering youth-particularly those in underrepresented communities-opportunities to participate.
Partnerships to Increase Pathways
Running programs offer powerful pathways to improve social, educational, physical, and mental health outcomes for youth.6 With the launch of Future Run, Brooks is proud to announce a multi-year partnership with Marathon Kids. Marathon Kids provides evidence-based physical activity programming to help kids adopt an active lifestyle and learn how being active can improve their entire well-being. Marathon Kids' free, digital goal setting and milestone tracking tool allows schools, run clubs, teams, and community organizations across the U.S. to increase physical activity and athletic self-perception among K-12 students. This year, Marathon Kids will serve nearly 200,000 kids across 789 communities in 45 states. With a commitment to address low-income populations and provide programming to vulnerable populations, Marathon Kids reports 62% of its clubs are in Title I Schools.
"We are incredibly excited to partner with Brooks in this initiative to reach more kids through Marathon Kids," said Cami Hawkins, CEO of Marathon Kids. "The Future Run vision is perfectly aligned with the pillars of our program, which teaches participants goal setting and tracking, provides them role models and social support, and celebrates their successes. Through running, kids improve their physical and emotional health and gain self-confidence, grit, and determination while having fun along the way."
Through Future Run, Brooks will also invest in regional partners such as Angel City Elite in Los Angeles, Students Run Philly Style in Philadelphia, Kids of Steel in Pittsburgh, and We Run Houston in Houston. With unique programs addressing the health and wellness needs of their community's youth, these organizations connect participants to running opportunities, coaching, and mentors in their own backyards.
The Power of Team
Later this year, Brooks will launch the 2023 Future Run product collection with shoes and socks in classic varsity color combinations, paying homage to the powerful dynamic of running as a team sport. The collection debut will coincide with the re-launch of the Future Run Team Grants program (previously called Brooks Booster Club). With Team Grants, Brooks will provide financial support and performance running gear to track and cross-country teams at 50 U.S. schools each year. Brooks will also continue its Inspiring Coaches program, which annually recognizes high school track and cross-country coaches who go above and beyond for their athletes.
Brooks plans to expand its new Future Run initiative to markets beyond the U.S. in the coming years.
Brooks Running sells its performance footwear, apparel, run bras, and accessories worldwide. Brooks' purpose is to inspire everyone to run their path by creating the best gear, tools, and experiences. Founded in 1914, Brooks is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and is headquartered in Seattle. Visit http://www.brooksrunning.com for more information or follow @brooksrunning.
1 2018 Inactivity Epidemic Report by PHIT America
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