On Sunday 21 October, 10 sporty young women from Palestine took part in the Amsterdam Marathon and ran half a marathon. For some of them, it was the first time they ran 21 kms, and they all made it to the finish! As the women are running with a purpose, they were invited by the Netherlands Government to run in the Amsterdam Marathon. They are running on behalf of the Right To Movement, an organisation in Palestine that uses running to create awareness about the conflict in the region and gender inequality. We were asked to provide a workshop for the group the day after the marathon, which we accepted with pleasure.
On Monday 22 October, the group that arrived at our workshop was euphoric and proud, and also tired and suffering from sore muscles. Fortunately, their brains were still energetic and dynamic. During our time together, we identified their talents. Beautiful words and sentences emerged, such as ‘Miss Peace’, ‘Detailed Organiser’, ‘Get Together & Go!’ and ‘Big Spectrum’, describing their talents. Their different talents were complementary and this is what makes the group such a great team. Together, they can take big steps in further growing the Right To Movement.
In the afternoon we discussed the future of Right to Movement. Where do they want the organisation to go and what obstacles do they foresee? One of their desires is to further increase the number of runners and, specifically, female runners. This is not an easy task since it is not really accepted for women to run through the streets in sportswear. Strategies to reach new women were exchanged and some of the participants took on the responsibility of inviting new women.
Another wish was to give the organisation more structure. Right To Movement started in April 2013 in Bethlehem and spread organically over Palestine, now reaching nine towns. It is now time to set up a formal structure so that the coordinators in the different towns know what is expected of them. The participants then planned how they could each use their own talent to create a better structure. Armed with this clear plan and the concerted efforts of the participants, we all trust that in a year’s time, Right to Movement will be more structured and have more runners.
Are you a runner? Right To Movement also organises the Palestine Marathon. Check it out and run with a purpose!