NYC running club attracts Chinese immigrants and builds new community

World Today

Sports running is a relatively new phenomenon in China but one that is rapidly growing in popularity.

In New York City, a new running club is helping a group of Chinese immigrants and students stay in shape, but also build community. CGTN’s Karina Huber reports.

For members of the NewBee Running Club in New York that means it’s time to go for a jog on Wednesday.

NYC running club attracts Chinese immigrants and builds new community

Sports running is a relatively new phenomenon in China but one that is rapidly growing in popularity. In New York City, a new running club is helping a group of Chinese immigrants and students stay in shape, but also build community. CGTN’s Karina Huber reports.

The club, which formed a year ago, is made up mainly of Chinese immigrants and students, meets in Central Park once a week.

“What differentiates us from other groups is that we set up a very serious rule – that if you don’t run like a certain distance you will be eliminated from this group,” Yi Junxiao, Founder, NewBee Running Club said.

On a typical run they jog anywhere from six to 12 kilometers (7.5 miles). Members must be highly motivated, but all levels of runners are welcome. Some have run marathons and others are newbies.

The group relies heavily on social media. Thanks mainly to WeChat its membership has grown from 20 runners in 2016 to more than 200 today. For many, it’s about forming a community in a foreign land.

Members often dine together and talk about their joys and worries. But the club is above all about running and pushing each other towards common goals.

For the first time NewBee Running Club will be participating in a marathon as a group. Roughly 40 of its members will be heading out to Big Sur in California at the end of this month to run together.

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