The event kicked off in mid-May, with some 500 employees taking part at the plant in Bratislava, Slovakia, where Volkswagen produces models such as the Touareg and the up!. As things currently stand, the inter-site series will finish at the end of June with the run in Anchieta, Brazil, where, for example, the Polo is manufactured for the South American market.
“We have three difficult years behind us due to Covid – years in which it was virtually impossible to hold large-scale events,” said Dr. Lars Nachbar, Head of Volkswagen Group Health Care and Occupational Safety. “This is why we are delighted that with the Health.Care.Run. format we can finally organize another shared sporting experience for our employees – one that will be held at all sites.” The team organizing the event expects up to 20,000 people around the world to take part.
The length of the run will vary from plant to plant. In Wolfsburg, where the run will take place on June 17, employees can choose between a 3,300-meter and a 5,800-meter lap. “The fact that the runs will generally take place on the company premises is likely to be an additional motivating factor for many employees,” Nachbar said. “After all, it’s not every day that you get the chance to jog through the plant, possibly even past your own workplace.”
The patron of the international run is the Volkswagen brand Board of Management member for Production Christian Vollmer, himself an enthusiastic athlete. “Sport connects people. Many employees also see it as a chance to unwind from work. This is one of the reasons why I have supported the idea of Health.Care.Run. right from the start. Not to mention that it’s also for a good cause!” added Vollmer, who himself will be taking part in the run at the Wolfsburg headquarters in mid-June. “I hope that many colleagues around the world will do the same and that we will collectively make a very substantial donation.”
Volkswagen will calculate a donation based on the total number of kilometers its employees run during the Health.Care.Run. “That in itself is a good reason to take part in the run and may even motivate colleagues in Wolfsburg to opt for the longer distance,” said Daniela Cavallo, Chair of the Group Works Council. The money will go towards the ‘a chance to play’ project, which helps disadvantaged children and young people close to the Volkswagen plans and focuses on preventing violence as well as providing opportunities for learning and education.
“Children are our future. Projects that help improve their chances of living an independent life free of violence make an important contribution to society. With ‘a chance to play’ we can be certain that our donation will go where it is needed and be put to good use,” Cavallo underlined.
The projects funded by the ‘a chance to play’ initiative have been implemented with local partner organizations for over 20 years through cooperation between the Group Works Council and the international children’s charity Terre des hommes, and meet internationally recognized standards.