Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Wavin teams up with PEC Zwolle United

Wavin teams up with PEC Zwolle United to improve the lives of children through sports

The 18th annual Zwolle Half Marathon Festival is just around the corner – on Saturday, June 9th.  And for the 14thyear in a row, Wavin will be the proud sponsor of the Wavin 4 English Miles (6.4 km).This year, Wavin will team up with “Regio Zwolle United”– a charity of the regional soccer team, PEC Zwolle. Regio Zwolle United, under the umbrella name of PEC Zwolle United, is focused on improving the lives of disadvantaged children in Zwolle – through fun sports initiatives. Both Wavin and PEC Zwolle will be running in the event, alongside 50 children of Zwolle, their running mates. And they will run together right to the finish line! Wavin managed to catch up to Arjan Jansen, director of Regio Zwolle United, to ask him all about the ‘Running Mates’ project. 

Running clinic with Wavin and PEC Zwolle United
“It’s the interaction between people that make this work. Without one another, we’re nothing.”
Arjan Jansen , Director Regio Zwolle United

Teamwork makes the dream work. And, in this case, the dream work is supporting a great local cause – improving the wellbeing of children in the Zwolle region by supporting sports initiatives to those who, for financial or health reasons, are otherwise unable to participate in sports.  As for the teamwork, Wavin and PEC Zwolle United have got that covered! 

A little more on the Running Mate Project

Working in collaboration with a large corporation like Wavin is new to Regio Zwolle United and maybe because it’s outside of the regular scope of both businesses, the project is popular. Every week, new people attend the running clinics. It’s not the running alone that draws people in, it’s also about meeting new people, talking about who they are and why they’re taking part in Running Mates. The true human story and their personal motivation is shared from both sides, and that’s what makes this collaboration very special.

The children who took part in one of the running clinics were a bit shy at first, but also proud. They really want to achieve something and book results. It’s also fun to see the other side of the story: how Wavin employees are dealing with the children. The empathic part of the story is essential; ultimately it’s the collaboration between the children and their running mates, which will determine whether they will reach the finish line together. It’s not about time and record, but about togetherness, connection and striving to get to that finish — as a team.

Arjan: “Having Wavin as a partner means that the participants and other contacts also raise awareness to the cause of PEC Zwolle United in general and to our programs, in particular. This is a much stronger message than when we would only tell the story of the organization ourselves. Another pro is that we are reaching new people that might be interested in participating in one of the social projects. A very clear win-win situation to us!”

Arjan, who will be running as well, tells us:
“The event is about much more than just the run alone. It’s ’s also motivation to train and to stay fit. It’s exciting to see how many ‘running mates’ will actually reach the finish line and in what way! And afterwards, we’ll take a memorable portrait with over 100 people…..also looking forward to the proud faces we’ll see.

Wavin is delighted to be partnered with PEC Zwolle United for such a wonderful cause. We know that the children will have a blast (and so will the adults!).


Will you be my running mate?

The Zwolle Half Marathon takes place in the historic city centre of Zwolle – home of Wavin’s Head Office. It’s an international running festival with over 8500 participants, including some of the world’s top runners. “Will you be my running mate?” is the tagline for our running event this year. 150 Wavin employees will be running this year, side-by side with 50 children – their running mates. The children will be invited to run the Wavin 4 English Miles with PEC Zwolle United and us, and to train together in 10 free weekly clinics before the event. We want to create a positive experience for these children – to motivate them to keep running and encourage them to engage in sports and fitness activities. Three out of the ten running clinics will take place in the PEC Zwolle stadium. All runners will receive a Wavin runner’s T-shirt, a wristband and, of course, we will pay the entry fee for the children who are participating. Furthermore, Wavin will be supporting PEC Zwolle United with a € 25,000 euro donation.


About PEC Zwolle United

PEC Zwolle United is an Anbi organization that assists about 3000 children who are otherwise unable to take part in organized sports. The organization’s goal is to make sports and other fun physical activities accessible for all children in and near the city of Zwolle.

PEC Zwolle United is also working on KUSZ (Kids United Sports Zwolle) – a summer (sports) camp for children who cannot go on a vacation with their families. They can try 5 different sports in one week and learn the importance of vitality, and work on themes like sportsmanship and respect. They will for sure have a fun week together. Another project is a labour participatory trajectory for various target groups — where each year approximately 100 people are guided towards getting a steady (paid) job through work experience programs.


Role Models

Children need good role models. And both Wavin and PEC Zwolle United will be leading by example – teaching the young to embrace fitness and good health. It is both an honor and a privilege to be giving these children encouragement, guidance and, of course, loads of fun!


For more information on the Zwolle Half Marathon, go to: http://halvemarathonzwolle.nl/ and follow us on Facebook, where we will be posting photos of the event. Stay tuned!

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