Born from an idea and a Vital Grant made by the Victoria Foundation, Every Step Counts is a therapeutic walking and running program for people experiencing barriers and challenges with housing, mental health, addiction and other related issues. It is positive and innovative, drawing on the wide-reaching and long-lasting benefits of walking, running and teamwork in order to foster self-esteem, confidence, energy and positive growth.
An inclusive support network, Every Step Counts is mentored by the Victoria Foundation in partnership with Victoria Cool Aid Society and Frontrunners Victoria. By bringing together key community organizations, the focus is to improve health and self-reliance through a mentored running program. Participants receive peer and mentorship support to positively enhance their lives through physical activity over an extended period of time.
After kicking off on February 17, 2009, Every Step Counts has drawn a diverse group of enthusiastic individuals who come out regularly to build their fitness, fun and friendships. While some are new to running and exercise, others are established athletes.
All are welcome and new runners join weekly. Participants have cited better sleep patterns, reduced anxiety, weight loss, increased energy, improved moods and new friends to list a few of the benefits they are experiencing.
Gently-used runners are supplied for all new recruits, and after participating in 10 sessions, runners are awarded a certificate and a t-shirt. After 15 sessions, they are given custom-fit runners. Ongoing donations of running wear and other incentives are always gratefully appreciated.
For more information please contact Gillie Easdon, Program Coordinator at 250.595.8619 or geasdon@CoolAid.org.
Your support for Every Step Counts is appreciated. You may donate to the program through the Victoria Foundation. If donating via our portal on CanadaHelps, please specify that your donation is designated for Every Step Counts, either by selecting it from the drop-down menu or by writing in the “notes” section.
Read more about the program in the Globe and Mail.