LONDON: The founders of a coaching and training app are launching a UK program to help refugees get into running and offer support for those suffering with mental health issues.
The first Coopah RunStart Academy event begins on Saturday in Birmingham, and will host refugees from Yemen, Iraq and Iran, as well as Kurds and those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
Coopah app members have donated running shoes and kit, while the firm is offering a special one-off “Refugee Run Club” shirt for each runner, and is hosting its program with the support of Refugee Support Europe.
“We know that running can help change lives,” said Coopah founder Peter Cooper. “It can give people purpose, improve their physical health and refocus them mentally. Having had personal mental health struggles, I know first-hand how running can change lives.”
He added: “We’re on a mission to inspire 10 million runners. We aim to help people improve their lives through running.”
For every Coopah subscription sold, Cooper said the firm will donate one to someone in need.
During the eight-week RunStart Academy, groups from various social backgrounds will be invited to join a coaching program.
It will include a hosted five-kilometer ParkRun on day one and, after eight weeks of personalized coaching, culminates in a second ParkRun to track and celebrate group successes.