The sport of running can be polarizing, inspiring passion in some while others do whatever they can to avoid it. But how would you feel about running if you knew that with every step you were helping a child in need? Lenovo’s employees in China have been motivated by this call to action since 2008 through the Love on Running Club.
The club engages more than 700 members across Lenovo’s offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Wuhan, Tianjin, Huiyang, Dalian, Chongqing, and Shenyang, China. While running’s popularity has increased dramatically in China, members of the Love on Running Club are generally drawn to the values of health, self-discipline, energy maintenance and optimism that running fuels. While their habit unites them, their energy drives an impact for the causes they choose to fundraise for and support. To date, the club has chosen to benefit children with disabilities including autism, delivered funding to support STEM education for children in Western China, and initiated various ‘matching’ initiatives. Some members even fundraised for a gymnasium to be donated to the primary school they attended as youths, equipped with a 1 kilometer running track.
The club is led by an exceptional employee, known as ‘Flying’ Yan. He has demonstrated incredible devotion to the club, providing engaging training plans for members, organizing race events, inspiring members in their fitness, and even engaging other Chinese tech giants like Tencent, Baidu, and Sina and their company running clubs in charitable fundraising. Most charitable initiatives have focused on providing resources for rural schools in China. After overcoming a torn meniscus disc in 2018, Yan was only able to run again after adhering to strict rehabilitation programs. Today, he helps club members with his story, inspiring them to meet their fitness and endurance sport goals.
Driven by the motto ‘running for love’, the club has expanded its total tracked mileage each year through a software application developed by Flying Yan. Running has served as a healthy outlet for employees throughout the challenges of the pandemic, and employees are on track to increase their kilometers tracked each consecutive year. While the club tracked 78,000 kilometers tracked in 2019, they are projected to exceed 200,000 kilometers before the close of 2021. Fueled by the purpose behind each step, employees will continue to inspire each other and keep the ‘love on’ through their running club.