#DelhiMoves Fitness

Who is Coach Ravinder Singh?

Coach Ravinder

Coach Ravinder   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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The man has gained the support and goodwill of the running community, as he motivates others

Coach Ravinder Singh (with a capital C in WhatsApp groups) will often send messages to the running community asking them to show up for an event centred around running. Not many call him back to ask him what the purpose is. They simply show up. This goodwill he’s earned isn’t because he heads a multinational company and so is a suitable networking candidate. Nor is he the fastest runner on the Delhi circuit. He ran his first half marathon in 2009, at the age of 42, and five years later his first full.

What is it that makes this 5’7” amiable man so popular among runners? The fact that every run he organises is not just a half marathon or full marathon, and that it brings together people from all walks of life, because they’re not too highly priced (within ₹2,000, with most between ₹500 and ₹700).

“Being a runner he knows what runners need, so whether it’s registration, bibs, hydration, route marshals, or marking, he has it down just right, and he never cuts corners,” says Reeti Sahai, an Adidas captain, who leads a group of runners in Delhi. Mostly though, “He’s very grounded, very humble, and makes running inclusive, as it should be,” she says.

Ravinder founded Run With Me Foundation in 2012, an NGO that supports underprivileged runners. The organisation cares for 20-30 runners, ensuring access to good nutrition, training, gear and competitions. In some cases they also ensure that their runners have continued access to education.

“We started it with the help of runners who used to run with me over the weekend. Besides being people who ran together, we were friends. And we wanted to give back and bring running to everyone,” he says.

The first race they organized was at DAV School, Sector 14, Gurugram, from where they choose seven runners who showed potential. “For that event everyone from our running circle contributed. T-shirts, bibs, hydration aids and medals came together as a result of voluntary contribution,” recalls Jitendra Arya, Partner at Run With Me Foundation.

In 2013, Ravinder started Pro Fit sports, the company that organises running events, out of the need to support the foundation. A portion of the proceeds from Pro Fit sports go to the foundation. Around the time, he gave up his job in an engineering company (he’s a mechanical engineer), to make running events his full-time profession.

What does he get out of it all? “We are a community. At our breakfasts (held after races) we talk about things that are common and not competitive, and sometimes personal. You have breakfast (that most other events do not include in their race prices), you feel good, talk positive. Your sponsor is happy that you’re giving them a captive audience too.” And more runs follow.

Register on Townscript.com for the Starry Night Marathon, 5 km (walk and run), 10 km, 15 km, 21 km; ₹720 upward

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 9:34:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fitness/who-is-coach-ravinder-singh/article29564698.ece

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