Just ASK, a youth group from Dublin 7, were awarded funding last week by Vhi to deliver a ‘Run for Fun’ programme as the company seeks to give a sporting chance to more than 100 young people from underserved communities.
The Run for Fun programme was created by Vhi, in partnership with Irish Youth Foundation (IYF), to empower and build the self-esteem of young people through a dedicated fitness and nutrition programme.
It launched as a pilot in 2017, and since then, 125 young people have taken part, with 1,000 weeks of training completed across eight different youth groups.
Just ASK received a grant of €5,000 to deliver the programme over an eight-week period.
Through the programme, participants train with fitness instructors while also learning about healthy eating.
At the end of the programme, they are encouraged to take part in a 5km park run.
Declan Moran, director of marketing and business development, Vhi, said: “Getting involved in sport can be difficult for many young people, who may have no previous experience or face social barriers that deter them from participating.
“That is where Run for Fun comes in. At the end of each [such] programme, Vhi employees join the young people and take part in the local park run with them.
“To see the pride on the faces of the young people when they complete the 5km is what it’s all about.
“We’re looking forward to seeing how the five successful groups progress over the next eight weeks, and joining them at a park run in the coming weeks.”
Lucy Masterson, chief executive, IYF, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Vhi again this year on the Run for Fun programme.
“Through the programme, Vhi has highlighted how important it is to level the playing field for young people across Ireland living in underserved communities.
“This programme is an excellent opportunity for these young people to boost their self-esteem, build their resilience and reach their full potential.
“The impact of this programme over the past three years has been fantastic, and by opening Run for Fun to new community groups, we will be able to create positive change for even more young people throughout Ireland.”