Members need gym shoes to exercise and workout, but what happens to all those shoes when the time comes to replace them? Do you throw them away or put them to a better use? We invited our members to bring them into the club where they were laundered, bagged and tagged. We hang the shoes from the club reception in order to promote the campaign to our members. The shoes were then donated to Symap, a charity that provides athletics training to people from poor backgrounds.
How did it start?
The idea was created by Milton Cilira, a running instructor from our Cia Athletica club in Kansas/Brooklin. Milton believed there was a better use for the shoes rather than throwing them away.
Simply to collect as many pairs of shoes as we could.
Why is this project important?
Cia Athletica believes in supporting projects where the purpose is to foster a sense of environmental and cultural inclusion. We believe this can achieved through sport or simply be raising awareness of a cause we believe in. The Institute Cia Athletica (ICA), a not-for-profit organisation which we created in 2007 has a mission: Take messages and actions of Non Governmental Organisations to our gym members and encourage them to participate in a socio-cultural project that improves the lives of others, using our clubs as the platform.
Reasonably simple to set up and communicate to all our clubs. We also worked closely with Technogym, our fitness equipment partner, to organise extra locations where shoes could be donated by members of the general public. We send the shoes to a laundry because we believe it is important to clean the shoes and present them in a ‘nearly-new’ condition. They are then bagged, tagged by size and gender. Finally the shoes are delivered to the Symap charity or other local institutions.
We collected 700 pairs of shoes across all our clubs when we first launched the project. Currently we collect about 320 pairs per month, which is approximately 3,840 per year.
This is an on-going project.
Beautifully simple project that all club members can connect to. Your gym could start a project like this and avoid some of those members’ shoes ending up in landfill. If this project does not feel right for your club, then read other projects already underway