by Apr 1, 2022Community Involvement

Aren Savangsengouthay CoffeeRun
CoffeeRun Logo

Everyone Can Run!

Hi everyone! My name is Aren Savangsengouthay, I am a Physiotherapist here at Westcoast SCI and wanted to formally introduce a community initiative that is near and dear to me called ‘CoffeeRun’.

CoffeeRun started back in May of 2020, we started weekly group exercise sessions in the community and provided coffee as bait to exercise! The idea started when me and my brother were brainstorming different strategies that could be used to help encourage more participation in running in our community. My parents immigrated to Canada from the country of Laos, as a child from an immigrant family, often things like sports, exercise, physical and social activities were on the bottom of the list of priorities and so it was hard to find people to run with me. Instead, I had to join other run groups but often this would be quite intimidating for me as often I would be the only visible minority of the group. Anyone who has been in a room and felt like they stood out for one reason or another knows this is not a good feeling.

I could have easily quit but decided to stick with it and am grateful I did. Everyone knows someone who says running has changed their life, I will be first to admit this cliché is true for me too. Running has given me many gifts in life, things like confidence, friendships, perspective, new ambitions, and so much more. In fact, running led me to my career in Physiotherapy. While grateful for these experiences, what stays with me to this day is that if I had quit running, I may not have made it to where I am today. To me, this is what CoffeeRun stands for; It is about addressing and minimising the invisible yet very real barriers to a healthy and fulfilled lifestyle which often disproportionately affect underrepresented and underserved communities.

CoffeeRun is no longer ‘just’ about running. It is about encouraging participation in physical and social activities, it is about connecting people together, it is about helping each other believe in one another so that everyone in life can move forward together. I want to invite all of you to come to CoffeeRun so that we all are reminded of one thing- Everyone Can Run!

Find out when our next run is by following our updates on Instagram: @coffeerun

CoffeeRun Running Club Vancouver
CoffeeRun Running Club Vancouver

Community Involvement