Road Runners Club of America Launches the Coaching Scholarship Fund

February 14, 2023

Designed to provide $20,000 in grants to organizations serving prospective running coaches who are the most impacted by overlapping systems of discrimination

Arlington, VA /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is proud to introduce its Coaching Scholarship Fund. The purpose of this fund is to provide financial support to organizations seeking to improve access to the RRCA’s Coaching Certification Program for people who are the most impacted by overlapping systems of discrimination.

Since 2012, the RRCA has worked with clubs and groups including the National Black Marathoners Association, the BMW Dallas Marathon, Black Girls RUN!, Muslimahs Endure, San Antonio Road Runners, and Game Changers to host courses with their communities. These courses improved access to the RRCA Coaching Program and brought more coaches of color into the RRCA’s national community of certified coaches.

In 2020, the RRCA engaged in DEI focus group discussions related to its Coaching Certification Program. An important finding was the inequitable access to the program for Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Asian, LGTBQ+, and People with Disabilities seeking to become RRCA Certified Coaches. We learned that the hosting process for courses, with only a small number of registrations available to the public, had created an unintended but systemic barrier to access.

Also in 2020, the RRCA was able to successfully transition its historically in-person course to an online, interactive course. This change in course delivery method presented an opportunity to reduce a barrier to access for many prospective coaches. It also created opportunities for RRCA to work with organizations engaged in serving runners from historically oppressed communities. Through this work, the RRCA Board of Directors has established the RRCA Coaching Scholarship Fund.

Each year, the RRCA’s Coaching Scholarship Fund will support four or more organizations. These organizations will be selected through an application process.  The selected organizations will identify and work with individual coaching candidates that will receive funded access to the RRCA Coaching Certification program.

To be considered for funding, applying organizations must fall into one of two categories:

  • Nonprofit: organized running clubs that have 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS or the RRCA’s nonprofit group exemption.
  • For-profit: organized running business (LLC, S-Corp) that engages coaches that lead training programs targeting communities impacted by discrimination.

Applying organizations must also:

  • Have an active web and social media presence that demonstrates running community engagement.
  • Engage potential coaches that lead training programs/group runs that serve communities impacted by discrimination.
  • Identify coach candidates that are impacted by overlapping systems of discrimination (sexism, racism, economic disadvantage, etc.).
  • Ensure coach candidates have a baseline of knowledge that includes: a desire to become a certified coach, have running race experience, experience as a group run leader/captain or organization ambassador.
  • Facilitate registration in an RRCA Coaching certification course for selected scholarship recipients.

Interested organizations may visit RRCA.org/programs/coaching-certification/coaching-scholarship-fund to apply. Applications will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.

Funding is available exclusively to organizations that apply and are selected as a supported organization. The Coaching Scholarship Fund will not provide funds directly to individuals, nor will it provide discounts to individuals not identified by our supported organizations. Interested individual coach candidates should engage with an RRCA supported organization for potential support.

To donate to the Coaching Scholarship Fund, visit RRCA.org/donate-to-rrca/. Donations made to the Coaching Scholarship Fund in 2023 will be matched up to $10,000 by a private foundation to support the launch and initial investment of $20,000 in coaching education.

About the RRCA: The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) is the oldest and largest national association of running organizations and runners dedicated to empowering everyone to run since 1958. The RRCA champions the development and success of community-based running organizations that empower all people to participate in the sport of running in pursuit of enjoyment, health, well-being, and competition. Learn more at: www.rrca.org

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