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Articles / Charity

Getting into the Spirit of Belron

15 September 2021

Getting into the Spirit of Belron

One week until the virtual challenge 2021!

Starting next week, and running over five days, O’Brien® will be taking part in a global challenge that aims to circumnavigate the globe as many times as possible and raise awareness and funds for Afrika Tikkun – a charity that helps to break the cycle of poverty in South Africa.

The ‘Spirit of Belron Round the World Challenge’ is the biggest annual charity event hosted by our parent group Belron® , and brings together employees, friends, family and business partners to get active and give back at the same time. What is extra special in 2021, is that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the event at which participants can walk, run, cycle or swim to raise much-needed funds for our chosen charity partner Afrika Tikkun.

Since the beginning of the challenge, Belron Group has raised over 12.5 million euros for Afrika Tikkun. Afrika Tikkun was founded in 1994 after the first elections in South Africa where all citizens were able to take part and when Nelson Mandela become prime minister.

As a leading non-profit company in the fields of education, skills development and socio-economic upliftment, Afrika Tikkun’s commitment remains unwavering: to impact South Africa for the long term, one inspired young life at a time. Afrika Tikkun’s ‘360° Cradle to Career’ program approach is designed to meet the demands of health, education and future wellbeing of South Africa’s impoverished youth.

In the past, the Spirit of Belron Challenge has been a number of events hosted in one place for people to come together. But in 2020, due to travel restrictions, a new type of all-inclusive event was imagined that allowed anyone, no matter their location, to take part.

Last year over 7,300 people from around the world got into the ‘Spirit of Belron’ and together we travelled an incredible 166,729km. That equates to just over four times around the world! We also raised more than 1.7 million euros.

Jacques Marais, Enterprise Architect at O’Brien®, led the charge in 2020 and travelled over 200km. ‘I set out to take part in what I believed was going to be a fun initiative. On the second day, I opened the leaderboard and noticed the sheer amount of km’s some people in Europe had put in. It got me immensely motivated and I went from just taking part to actually trying to challenge myself. If anything, I ended up competing with myself and it was an incredibly fun and rewarding week, enhanced by knowing that we were all giving back and supporting a really great cause’.

Alongside Jacques, we had 260 employees, 5 business partners/suppliers, and 29 family and friends take part – with a huge $75,000 donated. This year we want to do even better, it’s a challenge! We’ve set ourselves a target to increase participation by 20% to reflect the 20 successful years this event has been running.

But how does that work when some of us are in lockdown here in Australia? Well, that’s the beauty of it being a virtual event and having beautiful weather here to get active outdoors.

The event kicks off on 22 September and finishes on 26 September. Please support anyone you know taking part (look out for their pictures on our socials) or if you would like to get involved, or make a donation we’d love your support.

Find out more about the Spirit of Belron Challenge 2021.

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