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Saturday 4 February 2017

Vitality becomes first headline partner of parkrun UK

Vitality today announced it has become the first headline partner of parkrun UK. The community-based running series will be referred to as ‘parkrun with Vitality’, and the agreement will enable the events to further develop and grow.

Health and Life insurer Vitality has been a partner of parkrun UK since 2012. The enhanced headline partnership will help parkrun to continue leading the way in the provision of free community based and volunteer led physical activity, while at the same time fulfilling Vitality’s vision to encourage more people to be active and live a healthy life. The partnership will also support the continued growth of new parkrun events around the country and the development of junior parkrun, which are 2k runs for 4 – 14 year olds.

To launch the new partnership, Vitality Ambassador and Olympic Games Gold Medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill took part in her local Sheffield Hallam parkrun. The run formed part of Jessica’s training for VitalityMove, a new running and music event series she has created with Vitality that aims to encourage people to be more active by making running fun.

The new partnership is the latest example of Vitality’s continuing commitment to providing access and opportunities for people to improve their health. Vitality research shows that small improvements to activity levels make a positive difference to people’s long-term health and can increase life span by more than three years*. The extra nudge of incentives and rewards means they can also be encouraged to make healthy choices every day. Vitality members who take part in parkrun with Vitality are able to receive Vitality activity points, which unlock rewards and benefits, including drinks at Starbucks, cinema tickets, money off trainers and discounts on activity trackers such as the Apple Watch. Almost 20,000 Vitality members have signed up to take part in parkrun in the past five years.

parkrun supports local communities in organising free, weekly, timed 5k runs every Saturday morning at more than 440 venues across the UK, along with 147 2k junior parkruns. Around 110,000 people of every age and ability take part each week thanks to the contribution of 10,000 volunteers. 1.2 million registered participants have run almost 70 million kilometres at parkrun UK events since it launched in 2004. parkrun began in the UK and is the single biggest participation running event globally with more than three million registered participants and up to 200,000 weekly participants.

Jessica Ennis-Hill said: “I really enjoyed taking part in my first parkrun with Vitality at my local park. Everyone was really friendly and supportive and it was great training for VitalityMove at Chatsworth House in July. Initiatives such as parkrun with Vitality are so important because they encourage everyone, no matter how fit or experienced they are, to get outside and be active in a fun environment.”

Neville Koopowitz, CEO at Vitality, said: “parkrun has gone from strength to strength over the past five years Vitality has been involved and I am delighted that through this enhanced partnership we can contribute to its continued growth. 

“The great thing about parkrun is that it provides an opportunity for people to take part in a free, organised run that’s open to everyone, from elite runners to people who have never even laced up a pair of trainers. At Vitality we want to encourage people, whatever their current level of fitness, to take regular small steps to a healthier life. It’s fantastic to have a partner like parkrun who shares this vision and is committed to finding ways to help motivate people to start and stay on their journey to wellness.”

parkrun Chief Executive Nick Pearson said: “We are delighted that Vitality has upscaled its support of parkrun. This partnership is a major step towards building the infrastructure that parkrun needs to continue to grow at the spectacular rate we are currently seeing. We expect to see the number of people taking part in UK parkruns almost double in the next couple of years. 

“This landmark partnership will significantly support this growth and ensure that our events remain free, simple and accessible for everyone who wants to take part – whether that be running, walking or volunteering. 

“Our vision is to create a healthier and happier planet by empowering local communities to 
provide free physical activity, and it’s important for us to partner with an organisation that shares that commitment. We look forward to working with Vitality to bring more people into active lifestyles.” 

Notes to editors:

*Research from June 2016. Analysis of 6,600 members over the course of 12 months using Vitality Age, the online assessment (questionnaire) that measures aspects of wellness, including exercise, nutrition and stress, to reveal members’ physical body age compared to their actual age. Vitality found that previously sedentary members who increased their activity levels to the Government recommended 150 minutes a week saw their life expectancy boosted by more than three years (3.1 years). Members who increased their activity levels to 90 minutes saw an increase of almost three years (2.7 years) and exercising just 60 minutes a week saw an increase of more than two years (2.4 years).

About Vitality – changing health and life insurance for good
Vitality is the insurance business that helps people understand how they can improve their own personal health. Vitality makes it cheaper and easier for its members to get healthy and gives them rewards to keep them motivated, through a range of discounts and incentives. 

Vitality believes in the power of sport to help inspire people to live a healthy life, which is why it partners with leading sports figures, teams and events to help share the Vitality message. 

Vitality Ambassadors Jessica Ennis-Hill, Jonny Wilkinson, Joe Root and Maro Itoje are role models who embody the values of Vitality. They are all using their passion for living a healthy lifestyle to motivate others to make positive changes. Taking small steps today can dramatically improve wellbeing over the long-term, regardless of your current state of health. 

Vitality is Official Wellness Partner of Arsenal FC, AFC Bournemouth, Liverpool FC, Manchester City FC, England Rugby, Scottish Rugby, Welsh Rugby, Cricket’s UK Test Match Grounds and England Netball. The business has also partnered with the RSPCA for Big Walkies, is title sponsor of the Vitality Run Series and Official Partner of The Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards in association with Vitality.

VitalityHealth is one of the UK’s leading private medical insurers and has pioneered the ‘shared-value’ insurance model. This is a unique approach which delivers value for Vitality members through rewards and ultimately better health. Society as a whole also benefits, as do the company’s profits, which comes about as a result of people being healthier and claiming less often. 

VitalityLife is one of the fastest growing life insurers in the UK. It is unique to the current UK protection market and its suite of products includes Life Cover, Income Protection Cover, Serious Illness Cover, Business Protection and other additional products. By recognising people's efforts to look after themselves, VitalityLife is able to offer a more comprehensive set of benefits than traditional providers at a very competitive price.  

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For further information, please contact:
Dan McMillan
07824 604 926

Teamspirit Public Relations
020 7360 7877