New running app connects Indigenous runners across the nation

How Deadly Running Connect is redefining running

Picture an early adopter in tech and you’ll probably imagine a 20 or 30-something with the latest phone, drone or console. 

Think again. In Indigenous communities across Australia you’ll find a new kind of early adopter - one who can’t be pigeon-holed by age, income or ability, but who is using the latest in technology to connect to one of the oldest practises on earth… running.

Introducing Deadly Running Connect

A partnership between the Indigenous Marathon Foundation and Tata Consultancy Services has led to the creation of a much-needed new app - Deadly Running Connect - which seeks to empower Indigenous communities through technology, collect health data and celebrate the wins of Indigenous runners across the country.

IMF director and world champion marathon runner Rob de Castella says the app is an incredible breakthrough in terms of collecting data, connecting communities and growing the base of Indigenous runners. 

“There has never before been an opportunity to gather data like this,” Mr de Castella said. “From a health perspective it’s very exciting, and to see it rolled out in rural, remote and urban communities across the country puts IMF in a great position to grow our base of Indigenous runners.”

Empowering Indigenous runners

For IMF’s Cara Smith, who manages the foundation’s Deadly Running Australia program, the app is a way to connect the thousands of Indigenous runners with coaches who have dedicated their lives to promoting healthy, active lifestyles. 

“The Deadly Running Connect App (DRC) is the perfect tool to continue the ever-expanding popularity of Deadly Running groups and fun runs,” Ms Smith says. “It has the capacity to increase the celebration of running within communities, providing much-needed data to run leaders to be able to track their groups more thoroughly.”

This includes being able to acknowledge when a Deadly Runner reaches a milestone, like 50 training sessions. A feature which Cairns Deadly Runners’ coach and committed app user Nadine Hunt says “is something really special, and will help boost the morale and enthusiasm within groups.”

“Being able to acknowledge when a Deadly Runner reaches a milestone, like 50 training sessions, is something really special, and will help boost the moral and enthusiasm within groups.” - Nadine Hunt, Deadly Running Coach 

How Deadly Running Connect works

The way the app operates is simple. Indigenous coaches in communities, known as Deadly Running coaches, log information about their group’s activity as well as record the number of participant, activities and mileage. As coaches work on a volunteer basis, the app helps minimise their administrative load allowing them to focus on delivering the best quality programs to their communities. 

Runners will have their own profile where they can add their activities, with coaches able to access and track their sessions in detail. The app has a Facebook story-sharing tool, health tips and heroes’ page, as well as a list of DRC events. It also enables runners to connect to Deadly Running groups across Australia. Coaches can use the data to create and tailor individual running programs and help runners achieve their full potential. 

Of course, the last word will go to Deadly Running coaches, with communities in Kakadu (NT), Mimili (SA), Mornington Island (Qld), Canberra (ACT) and Queanbeyan (NSW) to be among the first to test the capabilities of the app. 

The Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF) is a recipient of the Tata Consultancy Services Community Innovation Program.

Team TCS is proud to support The IMF, their initiatives and their runners by developing technology solutions to aid them in their charitable missions and through sponsorship of their youth Deadly Runners program. For more information on The Indigenous Marathon Foundation head to www.imf.org.au