SFA teams up with Nike for second edition of ‘Step Together’ challenge


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Following a hugely successful inaugural “Step Together” event, the Saudi Sports for All Federation has teamed up with Nike, lining up a series of four walk-run weekly challenges, beginning on Sept. 13, 2020 (Sunday).

The weekly activations will be open to participants of all abilities aged 16 and above and staged with the close support of the Ministry of Sports under the banner of the Quality of Life Program. The event, held in partnership with Nike, will see a dedicated leaderboard in the Nike Run Club (NRC) app.

The four-week challenges combine to a total of 90 km, celebrating Saudi Arabia’s 90th National Day through community health and wellness. The suggested weekly breakdown for participants allows for a gradual increase in distances.

The first weekly challenge will be a 15 km walk-run starting on Sept. 13. The week two challenge starts on Sept. 20 with a distance of 20 km, while challenge three goes up to 25 km on Sept. 27. The fourth and final weekly challenge of 30 km will start on Oct. 4 and conclude on Oct. 13, 2020.

“The second ‘Step Together’ event held in partnership with Nike is a four-week challenge; we opted for this enhanced walk-run structure to support our goal of long-term behavioral change,” said Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed, the president of the SFA.

“With this multi-distance walk-run, people are provided with a fun way to move their way up the ‘activity chain’. Meant to include everyone, this program helps people progress in terms of consistent participation in sports and fitness.”

“We hope to encourage everyone to try walking or running the ‘Step Together’ challenges —irrespective of how active they currently are. We were thrilled to see social media posts around the last ‘Step Together’ event of participants saying this was their first time giving a walk-run competition a try. As for our consistently active participants, we want them to draw everyone they know into our healthy and active community using ‘Step Together’ as an inviting tool to get them on board,” Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed added.

For the September “Step Together” walk-run challenges, participants who complete the full 90 km challenge at any pace and on any schedule within the stipulated month-long timeframe will be eligible to win one of 10 full Nike running kits and 40 SFA rewards of SR500 each. All participants who complete the challenge of 90-km are automatically entered into the draw to win.

To qualify for the Step Together prizes, all participants must use the same email address to register on the SFA website and the NRC app to allow for profile and walk-run data matching. The user journey is simple: users download the NRC app and then register on the Sharek event page with the same email address.

The SFA’s inaugural “Step Together” program took place across 10 days in July 2020, with participants walking and running either half or full marathons; racking up a combined distance of 44,850 km.

Aimed at increasing and maintaining summer physical activity levels, Step Together was also the SFA’s first event since the lifting of lockdown restrictions in Saudi Arabia. More than 2,600 people registered, with 62.8 percent people taking part in the full marathon, 30.9 percent people in the half marathon, and 6.4 percent in the kid’s race. More than 40 Community Sports Groups also took part.

The SFA has introduced a number of initiatives designed to affect behavioral change around the Kingdom, encouraging the adoption of physical activity and family fitness. The SFA also recently signed an agreement with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs to launch activations in public parks across three cities — a crucial first step in delivering its active places mandate.

Active places is one of three initiatives SFA is responsible for delivering as part of the Quality of Life Program under Vision 2030; the other two being active people, and initiatives for residents of Saudi Arabia.