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TRUPPR’S Fitfam Revolution

by Joachim MacEbongSeptember 8, 2014

By the time you read this, the 5th edition of the Truppr Lagos 5k Run would have come to an end. It is the monthly flagship programme of the fast growing Truppr fitness community that I am proud to be part of, and I am sure I speak for many others as well.

My preferred mode of exercise is running. I run mostly alone, and consider myself self-motivated in that regard. I have not really needed any external motivation, save for my desire to lead a healthier lifestyle. However, this is not the case for most people, who need an extra push to begin the journey and stay on track.

In the last 18 months, I have observed more and more people take up running and other forms of exercise. Therefore, it seemed like just a matter of time before communities started to form, and this the space Truppr has occupied.

Bosun Tijani, who happens to be the co-founder of the Co-Creation Hub, also co-founded Truppr as a response to his own personal challenges of maintaining an active lifestyle. He envisioned a platform that would enable fitness enthusiasts connect with one another and participate in their favourite sports, regardless of the city in which they find themselves.

With Lagos as its starting point, the Truppr franchise has branched out to Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Enugu, and even Accra. Individuals are encouraged to start events in their neighbourhoods, something I have done by organizing the UNILAG 5K a couple of times. Others also regularly organize their own events. For example last Saturday there was a walk from the National Stadium to CMS. This kind of arrangement is more inclusive, because it gives more people opportunities to participate. All events are given publicity on the Truppr platform and other forms of support as required.

One obvious direction for Truppr is to partner with fitness and wellness providers in various cities to bring their services to users of the app, which is available for Android here, and here, for iOS. Let’s say for example, you come in from out of town into Lagos and you are looking for the nearest gym to you for a workout. Location information combined with the Truppr app will point you to the nearest place or give you a number of options, perhaps in addition to user reviews. In this way, Truppr becomes a bit like Foursquare, for gym rats.

 

If a gym is not your thing and you just need a running partner, Truppr could also connect you with such people in your area, with whom you could work out a beneficial time. I cannot count the number of times someone has asked me about my run route. If your preferred exercise is swimming, the app could similarly suggest swimming locations, and so on.

Eventually, Bosun says Truppr wants a presence in every city in the world and aims to ‘revolutionize amateur sports’. The best place to start this revolution is Nigeria, and Lagos in particular, with its surplus of people who are joining the ranks of FitFam.

The best part of the Truppr experience is the feeling of community it fosters. With every event, you meet more people and feel like you are part of a family. As the movement grows, if that family spirit can continue, anything is possible.

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Joachim MacEbong
Lover and student of media (@SMC_PAU alumnus), running (@Truppr ambassador), data, football (@ManUtd fan) and a bunch of other things.
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