Recently Everyday EMS Athlete Mark Bandy was profiled. Mark’s service, Mid Georgia Ambulance, has a running team called Run for Your Life. I asked the team coordinator, Amy Abel-Kiker, who is also the MGA Director of Public Relations for her tips for starting a workplace fitness or running team. Amy shared these great tips.
Facebook for Promoting Events
I upload all of our running photos and race updates to the MGA facebook page. I also link the MGA facebook page directly to the pages of local road races, so that our followers can become followers of the race as well. This allows for race information to be more readily accessible to those on our facebook page.
In addition to utilizing the MGA page, I created a separate facebook group for the running team. I use this group to upload info about each race, add new members, and remind employees (and members of the community) about race registration deadlines, etc.
Employee Reimbursement for Race Registration
Each month, we choose one 5K (or 5K/10K/Half Marathon) to be an “approved race”. We then collect registrations from employees and mail them into the race as a team. MGA employees who register for and run/walk a pre-approved race receive reimbursement for their original registration.
In our incentive programs, we try to recognize those who go above and beyond in their efforts to make positive life decisions. At a recent reception, we gave out several awards, a few of which included:
1. Personal Best Award-this was given to a runner who accomplished her personal best time in her first half-marathon, running as an MGA team member.
2. The Life Change Award-Given to an employee who has made a 180 degree life change to lose weight and get healthy. He basically went from couch to becoming an obstacle racer in a matter of months.
3. The Finish Line Award-This award was given to a team member who shows up for every race possible. While she often chooses to walk the majority of the 5K, I have seen her sprint to the finish line. She is so determined and dedicated to her health!
Our goal is to recognize employees for not only making positive life changes, but for also encouraging other employees to do the same.