On Saturday, 15 June 2103 at a special event at Delta Park in Victory Park, Johannesburg, Vitality, together with sponsors adidas and Blue Label Telecoms announced their new partnership with parkrun South Africa, run by multiple Comrades winner, Bruce Fordyce. Marathon runners and Olympians, René Kalmer, Irvette van Zyl (née van Blerk) and LJ van Zyl, South Africa’s 400m hurdle champion, were present.
“Anyone of any ability, age and any fitness level is welcome at the parkrun events, whether you are a runner, jogger or walker,” says Dr Craig Nossel, Head of Discovery Vitality. “Vitality is proud to be associated with parkrun South Africa and to support them in encouraging more South Africans to get physically active and fit, as this is something that is core to Vitality.”
“I am very excited about this new partnership between parkrun South Africa and Vitality,” says Bruce Fordyce, parkrun South Africa Country Manager. “parkrun South Africa has grown in leaps and bounds, with parkrunners running at different venues across the country. We look forward to welcoming many more Vitality members to the parkrun fold, and to helping communities across the country to get fit and healthy – and stay in tip top shape while having fun at the same time.”
Getting your daily dose of exercise can be as simple as getting a pair of good walking or running shoes, and being active for 30 minutes a day, five times a week. This is what parkrun is about – promoting the benefits of being physically active – and having fun along the way with their many parkrun events. parkrun is a global organisation that together with sponsors, organises free, weekly 5km timed runs around the world. Over 266 parkruns have been started around the globe in the UK, Denmark, Australia, Poland, New Zealand, the US, Ireland and South Africa. In South Africa, parkrun South Africa has over 7 000 runners who participate in parkruns across the country where runners can appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.
“By engaging in regular exercise, people can prevent developing chronic diseases of lifestyle such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. Importantly it has such a positive impact on ones quality of life.” says Dr Nossel.
Cape Town has recently been announced South Africa’s Fittest City according to the Vitality Fittest City Index, and one of the features that helped Cape Town to claim top spot was their outdoor and sporting facilities that encourage physical activity. The Vitality Fittest City Index was created to increase awareness around the health benefits of physical activity, and provide insight on what our cities can do to improve their fitness.
This initiative will also help to generate healthy competition between our cities to motivate behaviour; to provide information around the built environment and resources that encourage activity and to set policies which will encourage individuals and communities to engage in physical activity as part of a healthier, active lifestyle.
Get 500 Vitality points with your parkrun barcode
The best thing about parkrun is that it is free. Vitality members only need to register once at www.parkrun.co.za and print out their unique barcode which allows them to participate in the parkruns. Only members who are over 18 years old will earn 500 Vitality points at each parkrun event – barcodes need to be scanned after each parkrun. Your personal barcode also allows you to participate at any parkrun venue in the world, so do take your barcode with you on holiday. The maximum Vitality points of 15 000 points a year applies.
About parkrun South Africa
parkrun South Africa was established two years ago. parkrun South Africa has 14 locations around the country where to date 370 parkrun events have taken place with a total of 31 246 runs covering a total distance of 156,230 km.
Each parkrun takes place weekly on Saturday mornings at 8:00.
Discovery is an authorised financial services provider.
Discovery operates in the healthcare cover market in South Africa, the United Kingdom and China; the life assurance market in South Africa and the United Kingdom; as well as the long-term savings and investment market, and short-term insurance market in South Africa.
Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution. It provides individual and corporate wellness initiatives in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and China. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds 3.4 million lives.
Discovery’s core purpose is to make people healthier, and to enhance and protect their lives through financial products that clients need and want.
South African operations
- Launched in 1992, Discovery Health isSouth Africa’s largest healthcare funder and manager of medical schemes. It manages 14 medical schemes.
- This includes the Discovery Health Medical Scheme, which has a 50% share in the open medical schemes market, making it South Africa’s largest open medical scheme.
- Discovery Health covers more than 2.6 million lives.
- The Scheme is the only one in South Africa to enjoy an AA+ rating for its claims paying ability, the highest possible credit rating from international rating agency Global Credit Ratings.
- The Discovery Health Medical Scheme holds over R7.4 billion in reserves.
- Discovery Health pioneered consumer-driven healthcare in South Africa with the introduction of innovations like the Medical Savings Account and its wellness programme, Vitality.
- Discovery Health is continuously innovating new products and tools to enhance the quality of care members receive, including HealthID, an iPad-based application for doctors launched in 2012.
- Discovery Health was voted the top medical aid brand in the Sunday Times Top Brands survey for both 2010 and 2011.
- Discovery Health was voted the top healthcare product supplier at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) Awards.
- In 2012, the PricewaterhouseCoopers fifth biennial Strategic and Emerging Issues in South African Insurance survey rated Discovery Health’s insurance products as the leader in the industry.
- Discovery Life was launched in 2000 and is South Africa’s fastest growing major life assurer in the risk market, having captured 25% of the overall risk broker market.
- It was the first South African insurer to separate risk from investment, leading significant change in the industry.
- With 364 887 individual policies, the embedded value of its business is now more than R17 billion including Discovery Invest.
- Discovery Life addresses the problem of underinsurance through its unique integrated operating model and through innovative product development.
- Discovery Life was voted the top life assurer in the Sunday Times Top Brands survey for both 2010 and 2011.
- Discovery Life was voted the top risk and life assurance supplier at the 2010 Financial Intermediaries’ Association of Southern Africa (FIA) Awards and the top long-term insurer: recurring savings at the 2011 and 2012 FIA Awards.
- In 2012, the PricewaterhouseCoopers fifth biennial Strategic and Emerging Issues in South African Insurance survey rated Discovery Life’s life products as the leader in the industry.
- Discovery Invest was launched in October 2007 and declared its maiden profit in 2010.
- Discovery Invest combines the breadth and skill of the asset management industry with the existing research and development capabilities of Discovery Life.
- The company offers consumers a unique and comprehensive product range that addresses the current gaps in the market by offering greater protection against poor investment choices.
- With 74 327policies, Discovery Invest now has more than R26.6 billion in assets under management.
- Through Discovery Invest’s LISP platform, clients have access to over 329 local and 65 offshore investment funds.
- Discovery Invest is now the largest writer of endowment policies in South Africa with a 21% market share.
- In 2011, Discovery Invest received the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) award for best recurring premium business.
- Discovery Insure was launched in May 2011 and now has 27 973 policyholders.
- This pioneering product was created by leveraging the behavioural expertise developed in the Vitality programme with the latest telematics technology.
- The unique Vitalitydrive programme encourages and rewards better driving behaviour and ensuring that vehicles are roadworthy.
- At the heart of Vitalitydrive is the DQ-Track telematics device that measures and reports crucial aspects of driving behaviour.
- Vitalitydrive provides up to 50% fuel rewards on clients’ monthly BP fuel spend.
- Young adults between 18 and 25 can receive further discounts of up to 25% on their motor premiums.
- Discovery Insure offers comprehensive vehicle, personal and household cover.
- Launched in 1997, Vitality is Discovery’s science-based wellness programme that underpins each of the Discovery businesses and is an international brand in its own right.
- It is the largest programme of its kind in the world.
- Vitality encourages healthy behaviours that reduce long-term healthcare costs by rewarding members for improving their health.
- There are now more than 1.6 million Vitality members in South Africa.
- Vitality is accredited by the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.
- The Vitality value offering is enhanced by the DiscoveryCard, Discovery’s unique Visa credit card which gives members real cash back.
- Launched in 2004, the DiscoveryCard is the largest non-bank card in issue, with an 8.9% share of point-of-sales spend. There are now 231 302 primary cardholders.
- The HealthyLiving™ benefit offers Vitality members up to 25% cash back on HealthyCare™ products at Clicks, HealthyGear™ at adidas and TotalSports stores, and HealthyFood™ items at Pick n Pay.
- Vitality now has the ability to integrate into over 100 fitness tracking technologies.
In the UK, Discovery has a 75% shareholding in a joint venture with Prudential plc. Through PruHealth and PruProtect, the company offers healthcare cover and protection products.
- Launched in 2004, PruHealth is the fourth largest private medical insurer in the UK and the only one that rewards people for leading a healthy lifestyle.
- PruHealth now covers 548 970 lives.
- It offers consumer-directed products linked to the Vitality wellness programme.
- In 2010, Discovery acquired Standard Life Healthcare, thereby leveraging the significant assets of both companies and resulting in greater scale for PruHealth.
- PruHealth has won several awards for its product innovations.
- PruProtect, which was launched in 2007, markets consumer-engaged life assurance products in the UK market.
- The company’s products integrate with those of PruHealth and Vitality to unlock added value and significant premium savings for clients.
- The company has become a major player in the UK protection market. With 136 164 policies in force, it now covers 163 566 lives.
- PruProtect has received industry recognition, including awards in four categories at the 2011 Defacto Awards. The company was also named Best Individual Protection Provider in 2011 by Professional Adviser, and walked off with the Innovation Award at the 2011 Protection Review.
The Vitality Group
- The Vitality Group was launched in 2007 and offers a stand-alone version of the Vitality programme to self-insured, large employer groups and to healthcare carriers.
- Discovery holds a 75% share in The Vitality Group, 25% being held by Humana Inc.
- The Vitality Group now covers 293 674 lives.
- The Vitality Group has entered into a partnership with Wellness and Prevention, a subsidiary of Johnson&Johnson, the world’s premier consumer health company.
- The Vitality Group recently announced a partnership with ADP, one of the world’s largest providers of payroll and employee benefits administration solutions.
- In 2011, the group was awarded the C Everett Koop National Health Award for its work with Alcon Laboratories, a highly prestigious award recognising outstanding workplace health improvement programmes.
- Launched in 2011, HumanaVitality is a joint venture between Humana Inc and Discovery (through The Vitality Group) that makes Vitality available to Humana clients with commercial medical plans.
- Discovery holds a 25% share in HumanaVitality.
- Humana is the third largest US insurer, based on revenue. Humana has approximately 11.8 million medical members and 7.7 million specialty members.
- HumanaVitality now has more than 1.5 million Vitality members.
Ping An Health
- Ping An Health was launched in China in 2010, after Discovery acquired a 20% share in Ping An Health Insurance Co of China Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China.
- Ping An Insurance is China’s leading insurer and the second largest in the world.
- The joint venture will see Discovery’s product innovation and consumer-engaged model exported to a potential market of 83 million families.
- Vitality was launched in China through Ping An Health in May 2012.