Endurance Strong is committed to helping maximize the benefit endurance sports has on our society.
Competition against yourself and others is a large part of endurance sports. Other benefits though, include staying physically and mentally healthy, having an accessible form of physical activity for those who are not active, and raising awareness and funds through charitable endurance events. Embracing these other benefits, Endurance Strong strives to make a positive impact on society in the following ways:
- Create and Support new endurance athletes by providing opportunities, motivation and knowledge of how to train properly and safely
- Lower overuse injury risk, severity and recovery time in a population highly susceptible to injury
- Help injured endurance athletes cope with depression and other mental illness linked to inability to take part in the activity they love.
- Support endurance events that raise awareness and funds for charitable causes.
One key way you may have noticed that Endurance Strong plans to have a positive social impact, is by donating 10% of net profits to charity. What unties our community of endurance athletes is our love for endurance sports, being physically active, and the positive result that has had on our lives. Many of us have found endurance sports later in life as an "Adult Onset Sport" when we decided other sports were no longer an option, we needed a simple activity to stay in shape or wanted to tackle a new goal or never had them presented to us earlier in life. However we wound up here, it has likely come with a positive benefit for our physical and mental health. Helping others experience these benefits is what Endurance Strong would like to target with its charitable donations. Each year Endurance Strong will choose a charity aimed at getting people physically active.
This mission has always been a personal passion of Endurance Strong's founder, but is also an extremely important cause. The lack of sufficient physical activity is a leading risk factor for nearly every major chronic disease that is causing decreased quality of life and premature death. Making an impact here can easily snowball into a much greater social impact of not only extending lives but improving quality of lives. Also, anyone we can help get involved in endurance sports gets to feel the same fun, excitement, challenge, accomplishment that we do!
Below is a list of charities that match Endurance Strong's mission of increasing the number of people who are physically active, primarily through endurance sports. The charity Endurance Strong is pledging to donate to each year will come from this list, but we hope you learn about and support any and all of them.
RRCA’s Kids Run the Nation Program
The Road Runners Club of America’s (RRCA) Kids Run the Nation Program helps establish locally managed youth running programs in schools and communities across the U.S. Their site describes the program as “a gender inclusive, multi-week, turnkey youth running program designed to meet the physical activity goals outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for children in kindergarten through sixth grade. The curriculum can be modified to better serve older grades.” They have shared thousands of copies of their curriculum for this program which “is offered to schools, before- and after-school programs, community centers, homeless shelters, nonprofits, and other organizations that serve youth and are interested in establishing a youth running program.” For more information click here.
100 Mile Club
The 100 Mile Club has a mission statement of “Engaging and empowering kids and families to achieve a healthy lifestyle through physical activity nationwide; preventing childhood inactivity and obesity, one child, one school, and one community at a time.” They do this by giving students the simple challenge of running, jogging, or walking 100 miles during the school year. Students get incentive packages including a t-shirt to track their progress that matches all students in the program nationwide. The 100 Mile Club has already reached 5100+ schools and 1.2 million kids in all 50 states. They also have programs for kids outside of school, adults, small groups, seniors, and workplaces. For more information click here.
Back on My Feet
Back on My Feet is a national organization operating in 14 major U.S. cities to combat homelessness by using running and community to motivate and support individuals every step of the way from homelessness to independence. They say their “success is measured not only by the health impact of miles run, but also by how many individuals obtain education, employment and housing.” Back on My Feet wants to revolutionize the way society approaches homelessness with a model of first restoring confidence, strength and self-esteem, making individuals better equipped to tackle the road ahead. They provide practical training, employment resources, an environment of accountability and a community that offers compassion and hope. They have helped over 7,500 individuals “achieve what once seemed impossible through the seemingly simple act of putting one foot in front of the other.” For more information click here.
Achilles International is a global organization operating in 25 countries which provides athletic programs and social connection to people with disabilities. They have empowered over 150,000 athletes of all ages and ability levels to participate in endurance events around the globe.
They do this through several programs described on their site as “the Achilles Freedom Team which serves wounded military personnel and veterans; Achilles Kids which provides training, race opportunities, and an in-school program for children with disabilities; the TriAchilles Team which expands our running program into biking and swimming; Achilles Chapter workouts; and, our signature Hope & Possibility® race which takes place in several cities worldwide.” They state that “while our programs focus on running, our main objective has always been to bring hope, inspiration, and the joys of achievement to all.” For more information click here.
Charity Miles is an app where you raise money for a charity of your choice for every mile you are already moving. They have already tracked over 100,000,000 miles moved raising over $2,750,000 for charity. They state that they are “proud to partner with over 50 world-class charities that are making a big impact for health, children, animals, the environment, education, veterans and more.” For more information click here.
Girls on the Run
Explained best on their site, “Girls on the Run, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a physical activity-based positive youth development (PA-PYD) program designed to enhance girls’ social, emotional and physical skills and behaviors to successfully navigate life experiences. The program’s intentional curriculum places an emphasis on developing competence, confidence, connection, character, caring and contribution in young girls through lessons that incorporate running and other physical activities. The life skills curriculum is delivered by caring and competent coaches who are trained to teach lessons as intended. Girls on the Run International is the parent organization to 185+ local councils, serving over 200,000 girls annually.” Their program for 3rd-5th graders is an after school program designed to help girls find their inner strength, connect physical and emotional health, and ends with the goal of completing a 5K providing a sense of accomplishment and confidence to the girls. There is also a camp version of the program for this age group. For middle school girls they have the Heart & Sole program where girls through physical activity girls foster healthy relationships and learn valuable life skills for school, with friends, and at home. For more information click here.
Trips for Kids
In their own words, “Trips for Kids is the nation’s largest, oldest and most diverse youth development bicycling organization. We have enriched the lives of over 230,000 young people across North America using a simple yet powerful tool – the bicycle. Our first small chapter was started by CNN Hero Marilyn Price in 1988; we have since organically grown to a vast network of chapters offering free bicycling programs for over 20,000 youth annually throughout the US and Canada. Young people between 10-17 years old, mostly underserved, come to us from neighborhoods, schools, agencies and community organizations. Our Discovery Trail Rides, Adventure Clubs, Earn-a-Bike Workshops, Youth @ Work Programs, Mobile Bike Clinics, ReCyclery Bike Thrift Shops and other youth development programs are helping to combat the physical inactivity crisis, promote equitable access to safe places to play and exercise, provide opportunities for physical activity in and out of school, and build self-esteem, personal skills and learn environmental stewardship, thus mentoring youth to achieve better life outcomes.” For more information click here.
Youth Educational Sports
Youth Educational Sports, Inc. (YES) has set forth goals to encourage youth to bicycle as its a low impact form of exercise, competition and transportation, use bicycling as part of a healthy life style to reduce obesity, lower incidences of bicycle riders killed, disabled or injured in vehicle collisions by teaching bicycling best practices and age appropriate skills, drills and competition, as well as to train School Cycling Instructors (SCI) to provide Professional Development for the Physical Education Teachers and help establish Physical Education Bicycle Units at schools. They have also developed curricula to incorporate bicycling into the school physical education classes and encourage educational institutions to introduce bicycling as a viable sport and healthy competition in their Physical Educational curriculum. They believe that “anytime a life-sport is introduced to youth, this gives them a lifetime gift of health and relaxation.” For more information click here.
Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) has the mission “to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. The Challenged Athletes Foundation believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.” Most insurance companies do not cover adaptive sports equipment, making it so many individuals with physical challenges unable to afford it. The CAF has awarded over 26,000 individual grants to individuals with physical challenges to help them pursue their athletic endeavors. For more information click here.
One World Running
You can donate your running shoes that have some more miles in them to One World Running which cleans them up and distributes them to runners in need in the US and abroad. This is one of their tools to this to promote health, fitness and nutrition. They also put on 5K walk/runs to, as they state, “foster an environment of exercise and to increase understanding and goodwill between people.” For more information click here.
USA Triathlon Foundation
From their site “The USA Triathlon Foundation was founded in 2014 by a volunteer board of Trustees. The objective was to expand participation in - and access to - the sport of triathlon, particularly for youth and para-athletes, and to provide support to young Olympic hopefuls who may need a little help to get to the next level.” They do this through a wide range of programs and grants supporting the endurance dreams of many demographics. For more information click here.
People For Bikes
People for Bikes say it best in their simple mission: “To get more people riding bikes more often. To make bike riding better for everyone.” They do this by working with federal, state and local officials to consider biking during decisions regarding transportation, mobility and recreation. This allows bikes to be “prioritized and positioned as a real solution to improve Americans’ health, connect communities, boost local and state economies, strengthen our nation and protect our planet.” For more information click here.
The CYCLE Kids program has changed the lives of children through the empowering, simple, and fun act of riding a bike. Their program is a curriculum designed for 4th and 5th graders that can integrated into a school's physical education and academic class curriculum. Schools are provided with all the materials needed to teach the program, including bikes and helmets. The program combines cycling, nutrition, and emotional education. Research has shown that school-based interventions, like this, can improve a child’s health and academic performance by having them make better choices and improving focus better in the classroom. Learning how to ride a bike and how to ride safely on the road, also leads to more children biking to school. Good nutrition improves academic performance as well. For more information click here.
Active People, Healthy Nation (SM)
Endurance Strong is an Organizational Supporter of Active People, Healthy Nation (SM) which is a national initiative to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. This initiative promotes effective strategies recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force to improve physical activity. CDC, in collaboration with state, community, and national partners, promotes these proven strategies through Active People, Healthy Nation to ensure that all Americans have access to safe and accessible places for physical activity.
They are taking on this initiative based on the fact that increased physical activity can improve health by reducing the risk of at least 20 chronic diseases and conditions and providing effective treatment for many of these conditions. Other potential benefits include better school performance, better quality of life, reduced health care costs, and improved military readiness. Building active and walkable communities can help support local economies, result in less air pollution, and create more cohesive communities.
Endurance Strong is an organization that has a social mission in line with the Active People, Healthy Nation (SM) initiative and is proud to support it. For more information on the initiative and for ideas on how to help make this possible please click here.
Stay tuned for more details on what Endurance Strong is doing and how you can be a part of it!