More and more people lead a sedentary life with little physical activity. We are spending an increasing amount of time sitting down, which can have negative consequences to your physical and mental well-being.*
Two Kemira employees, Controller Rosslyn Thompson from Australia and Financial Services Manager Marta Kaminska-Olczak from Poland, decided that they wanted to find a way to encourage the Kemira employees around the world to fight these risks by increasing exercise and at the same time develop team bonding on a global level.
“Sport has given me a lot: peace of mind, good shape, health, feeling of accomplishment, and friends. I’ve had good experiences, so why not try to spread the feeling,” Marta says. “I first started encouraging my colleagues in Poland to take part in sports events together, and got many people engaged. So that got me thinking whether it would be possible to do the same on a global level.” The end result was the Kemira Global Challenge.
“Our goal was to increase exercise and develop team bonding on a global level”, Rosslyn says. “700 employees from 95 cities took part in the challenge – this is 15% of all Kemira employees. The ultimate goal was to run around the globe, 40,000 km, in 30 days. Together, as a team, we not only reached the target but exceeded it thoroughly with a final result of over 66,000 km. It means around 100 km per person a month.”
The Kemira Global Challenge wasn’t limited to running. “Employees’ choice of sports proves how diverse we are. Running and cycling were very popular, but many of us go to the gym, sail, ride a horse, do yoga and even train bailoterapia,” Marta explains.
“We wanted to make sure that everyone could participate in the event, so we created a target that was difficult but achievable. The popularity kept growing on a daily basis. We had weekly mini challenges and people sharing photos, which acted as encouragement, and leaderboards provided friendly competition. From another perspective KGC gave everyone the incentive to be active with colleagues and see their actual contribution make a difference,” Rosslyn says.