Who said keeping fit was rubbish?
Birmingham BT workers Paul Rooney, Sam Allen, Wai Hung Yau and Adam Ellis don’t think so!
They swapped their laptops for brooms to turn their passion for running to good use - with help from gold medal Paralympian Jonnie Peacock (pictured here with them).
The colleagues took part in the first of a series of events designed to combine keeping fit with putting something back into the local community.
It also marked the start of a partnership between BT and running community GoodGym, whose supporters combine getting fit with doing good around the UK.
The Birmingham colleagues were part of 40-strong group of BT employees and volunteers who took part in a three kilometre run from BT’s city centre offices in Birmingham, to a community playground adjacent to Nelson Mandela Primary School, in Balsall Heath.
There they met sprinting legend Jonnie Peacock who led them in an hour’s sweeping, tidying, gardening and litter picking to make the area spick and span for the local children – supporting the work of Balsall Heath Forum - before running back to the start.
The aim of the task was to achieve what would have been the equivalent of five days’ work for one person.
Sam, who lives in Handsworth, and is based in BT’s telephone exchange in Station Street, said: “I loved it. It was a real honour and privilege to be involved and to meet Jonnie. I felt a great sense of achievement from taking part in something really positive for the local community and also from the physical challenge of the run itself. It’s a great initiative to not only get yourself fit and healthy but also to give something back to the community and meet new people and feel like part of a great team.”
Wai, who is also based in Station Street, added: “Jonnie was a brilliant leader making sure everyone in the group was safe and enjoying themselves.”
Adam, who lives in Harborne, said: “I really enjoyed combining a group run with worthwhile volunteering. I can’t wait for GoodGym to get fully up and running in Birmingham and I’ll be telling my friends about it. I’d never done something like this before but I’ll definitely do more of them in the future.”
From this week onwards, GoodGym will run every week in Birmingham and the runs are open to all, in partnership with Run Birmingham who are working to make Birmingham a centre of running and fitness.
GoodGym has joined forces with BT to enable them to reach even more communities over the next year, including a further 15 cities.
Details of all the events are available at: www.goodgym.org
Jonnie Peacock MBE, a BT Ambassador, said: “BT has a long history of supporting volunteering and is committed to using the power of sport to change people’s lives. GoodGym combines both. It’s a great way to get fit, meet new people and do some good. I enjoyed joining in and doing my bit.”
Ivo Gormley, founder of GoodGym said: “With the support of BT I hope we develop a strong culture of community exercise that helps get new people into running and makes a big difference to community organisations across the country.”
Abdullah Rehman MBE, chief executive and former neighbourhood warden of the Balsall Heath Forum, said: “We’re always looking for new and interesting ways to support our work in the community, and this Goodgym initiative with BT was the perfect way to do this.”