Running club to use Pride funds to host LGBTQ+ race

A running club that received funding from Pride in London has said it aims to "highlight the issues in sports for trans and nonbinary runners" by hosting a new event.

Queer Running Club will use the £5,000 it has been awarded to host the 5km and 10km races in Hackney next month.

The club said its event on 21 July would be the "first ever queer and trans only running event in Hackney".

The running club was one of seven grassroots organisations awarded funding at Pride in London's annual Unity Fund awards on 28 May.

'Community event'

Danielle Mustard, from the club, said the event at Hackney Marshes aimed to be a "safe and supportive community event" that welcomed all abilities.

"It's a response more generally to how trans and nonbinary runners are perceived in sports events, and in running," she said.

Ms Mustard added that she joined the club after she moved to London and found that she "never fully jelled" with other run clubs.

The club now has a core group of regular runners, and around 200 people in its WhatsApp group.

'Giving back'

Christopher Joell-Deshields, chief executive of Pride in London, said he hoped the Unity Fund, which was first awarded in 2021, would create a "legacy" for the organisation.

"[It's about] giving back to more smaller grassroots organisations that would not normally have access to funding," he said.

After applying, organisations are scored on how well they meet the needs of the LGBTQ+ community, and the impact of the programme they plan to fund, he said.

The fund is a combination of corporate donations and other fundraising.

Also awarded funding at the Unity Awards was Not A Phase, a charity that supports transgender adults.

Danielle St James, from the charity, said she was "thrilled" with the £5,000 award.

The money will be used to fund online support meetings for older members of the transgender community, she said.

"London is where our roots are, but now we're all over the country," she said. "I don't think we expected to grow to this scale so quickly."

Ms St James said their self-defence project, Misfits, now operates in London, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Birmingham.

"Our ethos is being a positive force for good during these difficult times, especially in the media," she added.

Other organisations awarded £5,000 were:

  • London Royals Hockey Club - LGBTQ+ hockey club

  • Meg Talks Entertainment CIC - podcast

  • Oestrogeneration - magazine platform

  • Inkluder - supports groups in Barnet

  • Queer Night Pride - organises annual protest event

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