SFA (Saudi Sports for All Federation) is encouraging people across the Kingdom to start 2021 on the right foot with the launch of the fourth edition of its popular Step Together program.
Taking place from Thursday, Jan, 14, until Saturday, Jan. 23, the program challenges adults of all ages; backgrounds; and abilities to complete a half marathon — 21.1 km — within the allotted timeframe. A dedicated children’s challenge of 10 km will also take place over the same 10-day period; proving that a little exercise every day can equate to significant personal achievement as well as improvement in fitness.
Individuals and Community Sports Groups (CSGs) from across Saudi Arabia’s 13 provinces are to join the initiative; with e-certificates of participation to be issued to all who take part.
The top three CSGs will also get trophies, with a dedicated leaderboard highlighting team participation. Members of CSGs can complete simultaneously in both individual and group categories by choosing the CSG during registration stage.
Those who finish the assigned distance with special prizes for winners from a randomized draw will get awards. Prizes from the draw include 20 winners of SR500, a range of electronic devices and accessories; SFA branded accessories; and commemorative Step Together frames.
A third edition of Step Together generated awareness around World Diabetes Day, starting on Nov. 4, and ending on Nov. 14 — the day itself. Alongside partners Novo Nordisk and the Royal Danish Embassy in Saudi Arabia; SFA challenged adults to walk or run 21.1 km, and children 14 km. More than 1,200 people took part — including 40 CSGs — covering in excess of 25,000 km.
It’s better together
This latest edition encourages people to walk or run together in small groups; as employees, as friends or as a family. The virtual event is under the theme of “It’s better together” to keep participants motivating each other to run or walk a little further, and feel better in the process.
Participants in the virtual event can use any digital fitness tracker that they prefer, and then upload data and screenshots daily to the Race Result platform to register ongoing progress with results posted on a public leaderboard.
Registered users will receive emailed confirmations each with a unique link and instructions for the Race Result platform. That dedicated link allows each participant to enter distance and elapsed time of the activity daily; validated by an uploaded screenshot from any digital fitness tracker.
A “Results” tab on the platform allows users to view progress in a competitive spirit with other participants, and to view the leaderboards for the various categories (age, gender, distance) on the same page.
Quality of Life program
Staged under the banner of the Quality of Life program — part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 development plans — and closely supported by the Ministry of Sport, Step Together continues to play a central role in the SFA’s mission to promote wellbeing and encourage a healthy lifestyle in people across the country.
The first Step Together event took place in July 2020, with more than 2,600 people running and walking either full or half marathons across 10 days; covering a combined distance of 44,850 km. The second edition held between Sept. 13 and Oct. 13 in partnership with Nike.
Participants joined in a series of four challenges across four consecutive weeks, at distances of 15 km, 20km, 25m, and finally 30 km; a combined distance of 90 km, designed to honor Saudi Arabia’s 90th National Day.
As well as Step Together, the SFA has staged numerous events, programs and initiatives to help fulfill its mandate of increasing physical activity levels across the population from 13% in 2015 to 40% by 2030.
The Move To Game initiative, launched in April 2020 with SAFEIS (Saudi Federation for Electronic and Intellectual Sports), has seen more than 151,000 people generate more than 10 billion steps through a series of online and offline challenges.
As well as helping tens of thousands of people get active, Move To Game also helped raise SR1 million for Zahra Association’ Breast Cancer Awareness campaign in October; with 1,000 participants walking or running more than 66 million steps in two weeks.
All ages and abilities are encouraged to register now: https://sfa.sa/ST4.