Trail Criú: Using Trail Running to Build Community and Integration

April 18, 2024

Trail Criú is more than just about running the trails. It’s a vibrant community hub that fosters connections and promotes fitness for people seeking international protection. Founded with a mission to break down barriers and create opportunities, Trail Criú has quickly become a beacon of inclusivity and support.

The club's journey began on November 7th, 2023, with its inaugural run at Kippure Estate Direct Provision Centre. Since then, Trail Criú has been organising weekly runs amidst the scenic Wicklow Mountains. However, their activities go beyond mere exercise; they serve as a catalyst for social interaction, empowerment, and advocacy.

Alicia, a representative of Trail Criú, encapsulates the club's ethos in a quote given to Run Republic: "Our main goal in Trail Criú is to offer a trail running club for folks that can then help them to make social connections and integrate in society."

At the heart of Trail Criú's initiatives is the desire to address the isolation and marginalisation often experienced by those in Direct Provision centres. By engaging members in trail running, the club provides a platform for individuals to connect with nature, meet like-minded individuals, improve their fitness, and most importantly, integrate into society.

One of Trail Criú's notable activities is its monthly open trail runs, such as the upcoming one on Saturday, April 20th, at Cruagh Wood. These runs not only welcome new participants but also encourage existing members to expand their social circles and forge new connections. Interested individuals can sign up for the run by emailing [email protected], thereby creating an inclusive space for all.

Aside from their regular runs, Trail Criú is also engaged in advocacy work. They actively seek opportunities to break down barriers to access for their members. This includes reaching out to organisations for free ticket entries, securing spots in workshops, and soliciting kit donations, all aimed at enhancing the trail running experience and promoting inclusivity.

Trail Criú's impact extends beyond the trails; it's a testament to how sports can be a powerful tool for community building, empowerment, and social change. As they continue their journey, Trail Criú remains committed to making a positive difference in the lives of those seeking international protection in Ireland, one trail run at a time.

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