Adidas launches educational program to address runner safety

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Runner safety is a conversation most female runners will have with themselves, their running partners, and their families at some point. According to a 2019 survey by Stop Street Harassment and the University of California San Diego Center on Gender Equity and Health, 68% of women have been harassed while running. Women are often given advice on how to say it safely on a run – don’t wear your hair in a ponytail, wear a whistle, don’t listen to music – but many acknowledge that the problem will persist if the women are the only ones asked to change their behavior.

Now, community members and leaders collectively agree that real progress on the topic of racing safety will come from reframing the conversation and inviting others. As part of the re-launch of Ultraboost 22, Adidas is leveraging the all-women’s version with a commitment to female runners around the world. Adidas has a network of running clubs that spans the globe and saw the opportunity to use this network for good: to educate the male runners in their clubs on how to help women run safely. .

Education for Impact

Adidas aims to get to the root of the problem of male violence against women. In partnership with the nonprofit organization White Ribbon and author and human rights activist Amanda Sussman, the company has co-created an educational program in hopes it will have a meaningful impact on the world. global scale.

The primary focus of the program is to engage male allies and will run through their global running club. It focuses the narrative on the active change of men, not women, and by taking their initiative with running clubs, the program is launched where running shoes hit the road. Over 250 Ad coaches and captainsidas runners‘ The international community will receive an educational manual and become designated ambassadors of the mission to create a safer running environment for female athletes in cities around the world.

The playbook will contain in-depth alliance tools and action steps to help the community better understand and recognize issues to foster personal development and growth. This will encourage men and boys to reflect on their behavior, take responsibility and be strong allies to ensure everyone is safe to run how they want, where and when they want.

White Ribbon has been pursuing the fight against gender-based violence for over 30 years, asking men and boys to take the pledge and wear a white ribbon as a reminder: “I pledge never to commit, condone or silence on violence against women. .” Today, the organization has a host of programs focused on promoting new social norms, preventing gender-based violence and harassment, and creating safer and more inclusive workplaces.

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“Our mission is to end all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination, once and for all. We want all men to uphold the White Ribbon’s commitment to never commit, condone or remain silent about male violence against women,” said Humberto Carolo, Executive Director of White Ribbon.

Partnering with Amanda Sussman, the program aims to change a narrative with a brand that has wide reach within the running community.

“Unfortunately, being verbally or physically harassed while running is something that disproportionately affects women and other vulnerable groups, forcing them to be vigilant, change their running habits and live in constant fear for their safety.” , says Sussman. “This is not a problem that will solve itself. It is important and inspiring to see global brands like Adidas use their power and influence to join the movement for gender equality and commit to doing their part to support lasting change.

RELATED: Mary Wacera Ngugi speaks out on domestic violence

Sales call

High visibility is crucial for the success of an educational program like this. The more it becomes a social movement, the more the needle will move in changing attitudes around safety; thus, the announcement was planned in coordination with the new Ultraboost 22 designed for women. The creators hope the new Ultraboost (and the conversation around how a shoe designed for women looks and feels) will be the catalyst to drive this change among runners. .

With our ongoing security coverage being run by the team of Women’s runningwe plan to follow this initiative and how running clubs have embraced the change.

RELATED: Adidas Ultraboost 22 – Redesigned for women by women

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