The purpose of the RRCA Coaching Scholarship Fund is to support organizations and to improve access to the RRCA’s Coaching Certification Program through these organizations for people who are the most impacted by overlapping systems of discrimination (sexism, racism, and economic disadvantage).

Each year, the RRCA’s Coaching Scholarship Fund will support four (4) or more organizations that will identify and work with individual coaching candidates that will receive funded access to the RRCA Coaching Certification program. The number of coach candidates will be determined annually by the Board of Directors but will generally be four (4) or more scholarships provided per supported organization selected through the application process.

The RRCA Coaching Scholarship Fund is only available to organizations that apply and are selected as a supported organization. The Coaching Scholarship Fund will not provide funds directly to individuals, nor will it provide discounts to individuals not identified by our supported organizations. Interested individual coach candidates should engage with an RRCA supported organization for potential support. 

In 2012, the RRCA partnered with the National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA) to host a coaching certification course that was sponsored by the BMW Dallas Marathon. The relationship between the three organizations was an important step towards improving access to the RRCA Coaching Program and bringing coaches of color into the RRCA’s national certified coach community. It also served as a learning opportunity for how the RRCA could better support members representing historically oppressed people.

From 2012 to 2020, the RRCA worked with clubs and groups such as Black Girls RUN!, Muslimahs Endure, San Antonio Road Runners, and Game Changers to host courses for their members and communities.

In 2020, the RRCA engaged in DEI focus group discussions related to its Coaching Certification Program. An important finding was understanding the problem with equitable access to the program for Indigenous, Black, Latinx, Asian, LGTBQ+, and People with Disabilities seeking to become an RRCA Certified Coach to work with runners in their communities. This problem is reflected in the demographic data gathered from certified coaches in 2021. We learned that the hosting process for courses with only a small number of registrations available to the public had created an unintended but systemic barrier to access.

In 2020, the RRCA was able to successfully transition its historically in-person course to an online offering via Zoom. This change in course delivery method presented an opportunity to lower the barrier to access for many prospective coaches. It also created opportunities for the RRCA to work with organizations engaged in serving runners from historically oppressed communities. Through this work, we have established the RRCA Coaching Scholarship Fund.


Applying organizations must fall into one of two categories:

  • Nonprofit: organized running clubs that have 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS or the RRCA’s nonprofit group exemption.
  • For-profit: organized running business (LLC, S-Corp) that engages coaches that lead training programs targeting communities impacted by discrimination.

Applying organizations must:

  • Have an active web and social media presence that demonstrates running community engagement.
  • Engage potential coaches that lead training programs/group runs that engage communities impacted by discrimination.
  • Identify coach candidates that are impacted by overlapping systems of discrimination (sexism, racism, economic disadvantage, etc.).
  • Ensure coach candidates have a baseline of knowledge that includes: a desire to become a certified coach, have running race experience, and have served as a group run leader/captain or organization ambassador. 
  • Facilitate registration in an RRCA Coaching certification course for selected scholarship recipients.

If selected as a Supported Organization, the organization must:

  • Work with the RRCA to determine the best funding model for its scholarship recipients and work with RRCA to implement the process.
  • Communicate the list of coach candidates that have been selected to receive the scholarship via your organization to the RRCA.
  • Follow up with scholarship recipients to ensure compliance with program requirements, such as completing the online exam by the established deadline.
  • Acknowledge the RRCA as a donor or sponsor to the organization in social media, on their website, in e-blasts, etc.
  • Acknowledge that coaches listed on the organization’s website are RRCA Certified Coaches upon successful completion of the program, if such a list is maintained on the organization’s website.
  • Submit a brief online report to the RRCA outlining how the scholarships benefited the individuals, the organization, and the running community they serve.

Email [email protected] with any questions about the Coaching Scholarship Fund and application process.

Coaching Scholarship Fund Application

"*" indicates required fields

Organization Contact Person*
This is the email address we will send the Coaching Scholarship Fund decision to.
What type of organization is it?*
Individuals are not eligible to apply for this organizational level grant program.
Is your organization an RRCA member running club or event?*
Organizations applying for the Coaching Scholarship Fund do NOT need to be affiliated with the RRCA to be considered, but your primary focus must be on promoting running to your community.
How is your organization funded?*
Select all that apply.
If your organization is selected to receive funding from the Coaching Scholarship Fund, we will work closely with you to choose the funding model that works best for your organization and your prospective coaches. Please choose the funding model your organization is interested in pursuing.*

This choice is not binding. If you have a different idea, please select "Other" and describe your proposed funding model.
Has your program previously applied for the RRCA's Coaching Scholarship Fund?*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
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