Exchange and Empower (ENE):
The Exchange and Empower (ENE) program is a collaboration between Hong Kong Trail Running Women and legendary trail runner and feminist Mira Rai. The program aims to provide talented young female runners in Nepal the opportunity to broaden their horizons, experience different lifestyles, and share their stories and culture with others.
The program provides Training and Education Grant. In 2018 and 2019, the grant supported 10 girls altogether who were exceptionally good in trail running and had high potential in them. The grant is provided for a period of 9 months and aims to give them the opportunity to focus on athletic training, education, and professional development.
ENE also provides an experiential learning opportunity for the girls through its Hong Kong Exchange program where they have the opportunity to visit Hong Kong and compete in one of the many renowned trail-races the city has to offer. Since ultra-running is not yet an officially recognized sport in Nepal, most of the young women in the program will have no experience running longer than a half-marathon or marathon distances. Our training program will develop the women’s athletic potential.
The girls have the opportunity to stay in Hong Kong for several days and immerse themselves in a unique culture and lifestyle. Tours and educational programs are organized to ensure and enrich their experiential, cross-cultural learning process.
Bhojpur Trail Race:
As a part of our commitment to promote trails and trail running in Nepal, we have been organizing Bhojpur Trail Race in the hometown of the legendary Mira Rai where she was born and raised. It is also in Bhojpur where Mira learnt how to race through the steep trails and ultimately become one of the fastest and best ultra-trail runners in the world. Bhojpur Trail Race is a charity race held in the eastern part of Nepal and has been held annually since 2016.
It is a short and exciting race organized in Sanodumma, Mira’s village, which is approximately 18 km away from the nearby market/Bajaar. The race is an opportunity for aspiring trail runners within Mira’s village and Bhojpur area who are inspired by Mira to showcase their potential and get selected for training and scholarship opportunities at Mira Rai Initiative.
The winners of the race have been selected for the Exchange and Empower (ENE) program in the past who then got the opportunity to train and participate in various national and international events and races.
Capacity building training & programs:
In addition to the closed camp training for running to prepare athletes for the races, the athletes also have the opportunity to explore, build their life skills, and enrich their personal development through a myriad of training programs such as First-Aid Responsiveness training, Trekking Guide, Team Building, Leadership, Communications, English language to name a few.
The training programs are aimed to equip the athletes with skills that would be useful to become economically self-sufficient and find a sustainable profession within the growing market for adventure tourism in Nepal. The training programs are also expected to contribute towards the holistic development of the athletes where they are able to use those skills while navigating both their personal and professional lives.