Sanctuary Runners’ branded clothing to go on sale from Monday, September 27th as a limited range
- New phase in development of the fast-growing Sanctuary Runners’ movement
- A development and expansion of the range expected in 2022
One of Ireland’s leading solidarity-through-sports organisations is joining forces with the Irish athleisure brand Gym+Coffee to launch its first limited-edition range of merchandise.
The Sanctuary Runners, founded in Cork by former feature writer and broadcaster Graham Clifford in 2018, use running, jogging and walking to bring together asylum seekers, refugees, other migrants and those in wider Irish society. It now has 30-groups across Ireland and over 4,000 regular participants.
In 2019, it was named by the European Commission as one of the nine leading solidarity-through-sport initiatives in the European Union and it will be launching its first overseas group, in London, on November 6th.
Now, partnering with the multi-award-winning Gym+Coffee brand, it will offer Sanctuary Runner leisure wear which they feel will further enhance the social enterprises’ visibility in society. The hoodies will be available from the movement’s website from morning, Monday, September 27th.
“Our blue Sanctuary Runner tops have become somewhat iconic at running events and at parkruns on Saturday mornings, but we wanted to develop another clothing option to highlight our work while also raising revenue for our not-for-profit movement,” explains Graham Clifford, the founder and CEO of the Sanctuary Runners.
The hoodies, deigned by the team at Gym+Coffee, feature the Sanctuary Runner logo and the word ‘Solidarity’ is emblazoned on the back. The blue hoodies come in two designs.
Diarmuid McSweeney, co-founder of Gym+Coffee, explains why the Irish company decided to support the Sanctuary Runners in this way.
“We’ve never seen a group which matches our values as well as the Sanctuary Runners does. We strive to encourage people to socialise around exercise and to ‘Make Life Richer’. Sanctuary Runners does that exactly. Their values of solidarity, friendship and respect are right at the heart of what every strong community should be about. On top of that, they are helping those who need this outlet. The physical activity gap which exists between the privileged and the underprivileged is becoming one of the major issues of our generation. Sanctuary Runners is looking to close that gap.”
And Gym+Coffee has already donated thousands of euro worth of clothing to the Sanctuary Runners through its stores in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.
Recent awardees of funding under the Rethink Ireland Reignite Midwest programme to develop their footprint in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary, the Sanctuary Runners were also awarded €20,000 in funding last week from the Bank of Ireland to develop groups in Donegal and the Northwest region as part of the ‘Begin Together’ fund.
Now Graham Clifford believes the partnership with Gym+Coffee can herald a new phase in the development of the fast-growing organisation.
“Its really quite amazing that such an exciting and innovative brand is embracing our work in this way – and it’s so wonderful that its an Irish company with such a strong social conscience. Indeed, it’s a very exciting development in how social movements and companies with similar values and perspectives can work hand-in-hand.”
Diarmuid McSweeney agrees:
“Authenticity is key, you either believe in something and what you stand for, or you don’t. We say we are a community-powered brand and so we have to show that in our actions, not just our words.”
And next month Gym+Coffee will submit its application to become a B Corporation.
“This is the gold standard of global sustainability for businesses, for companies who legally say they are driven by purpose and profit. Sustainability is certainly about the environment and climate but is also about people, communities and helping those in need,” explained McSweeney.
He added that the company plan to support the Sanctuary Runners into the years ahead.
“This is a long-term partnership. One that we hope becomes a pillar of the Sanctuary Runners organisation and how it grows. Gym+Coffee will be there to support at every step of the way.”
To find more about the Sanctuary Runners or to purchase their new merchandise go to Sanctuaryrunners.ie from Monday, September 27th