The idea started in 2004. We wanted to share the Christmas spirit by organising a charity event and giving back to the community. Every club creates a relationship with a local cause and shares all the benefits of the Christmas Fitness Marathon. Local associations and individuals receive 100% of the entrance fees and exposure in all club communications.
How did it start?
It all started from our Team. One of our team managers has a niece called Pauline who suffered a stroke at school. It was a severe stroke which left Pauline needing to use a wheelchair. We did not want to simply raise money for Pauline, but wanted her to be a part of the project so she could appreciate how important she was to us. Every year the money raised helps to improve her day to day wellbeing. The Christmas project has now grown and we are now helping other young people with life-changing conditions. Every year, hundreds of people in every club are deciding to share the Christmas spirit. We all have to give, it can be time, smiles or money.
One of our core values is to be positive in every possible way so helping others is very important to us. We focus on supporting individuals and smaller local Charities.
Each year our clubs focus on helping a young person with a life-changing illness. During 2014, for example, we are helping a two-year old who has been diagnosed with cancer. It is now a national event for all our clubs and a very special night that is full of wonderful memories.
It is now a core event of our culture and it definitely enhances the fact that our team are proud to work for Genae. It’s a fun night for them and they really feel useful. It gives purpose to our job and to life. We have provided year-round support for 10 children and young people since the programme began raising more than €7,000 (US $8,700). We intend keep going so that we can help more children and young people with a life-changing illness.
Lovely story of how staff have initiated this annual project that has now been operating for 10 years. We had the pleasure of recently meeting Anthony Barquisseau, Chief Executive of Genae Fitness Club. Anthony was so proud of how staff and members were making Christmas very special for a group of very brave children.