Throughout history, the world of sport and activism have often collided. Because athletes and clubs gain exposure, many have decided to use their power to change our world for the better. It is no surprise that in the UK too, campaigns, charity events and movements are often supported by sportspeople. Marcus Rashford, Premier League captains, and many more have raised their voices about issues that mattered to them.
But you don’t have to go all the way to the top to find examples. Bellahouston Roadrunners are based in Glasgow and started their own campaign, #LightTheWay.
“For the past couple of years, we have been campaigning to get our parks lit up at night”, says Chi My Ta, who has been a club member since 2010. “We are very fortunate, living in Glasgow, we have so many beautiful, well-used parks surrounding us in the city. As a running club, we regularly use our local parks on training nights.”
However, during the winter months, it gets dark around 4pm, and the parks become unusable. As a club, we often don’t use the parks from September until early March at all, because they are dark and we can’t use them for safety reasons, so we use the roads with lighting.”
The #LightTheWay campaign resonated with many living in the city, not just runners, but dogwalkers, people who work until late, or those living near parks. It quickly became obvious that there is a huge demand for better lighting in these public spaces.
— Danny Phillips (@Pressuredrop) November 17, 2021
In November last year, Clyde 1 and 2 picked up the campaign and launched their own with the same name, to amplify the message. In December, the group held a demonstration in Kelvingrove Park with an impressive turnout.
Chi My Ta explains: “As a club, we are very active in our local community and this is something that would benefit the wider community and not just us. During the first lockdown, quite a few of our members helped out with collecting food donations and helping out local churches, delivering food packages to those who were affected by the pandemic.”
The campaign remains ongoing as members of Bellahouston Roadrunners continue to meet every week, in darkness and light, to upkeep their mental and physical health. They are proud to be fighting for a cause that is so close to their hearts and could improve the lives of so many.
You can find out more about the club here.