Following the confirmation of Virgin Sport back in May 2015, Virgin Sport, the newest enterprise within Sir Richard Branson’s global Virgin Group, went live yesterday and announced registration for its first experience, Virgin Sport Hackney.
Orientating events around experiences and a festival feel, Virgin Sport adds that it creates active community experiences that bring people together and make challenge fun. Virgin Sport is launching four festivals of sport in the UK and US: Hackney (30 April); Westminster (9 July); San Francisco (14-15 October); and Oxford (date TBC, October).
Virgin notes that… ‘festivals of sport have something for everyone including athletes, new participants, family and friends. They are both challenging and welcoming, and customized to each host borough or city. Festivals of sport include a distance run, more accessible short run and group fitness training. Active experiences are combined with local food, music art and culture for a unique experience.’
Registration for Virgin Sport Hackney is now live on virginsport.com, where participants can register themselves, friends, teams and fans. Virgin Sport Hackney includes: the Hackney Half (a 13.1 mile run through Hackney); a new Chase your Mate 5.5k (‘to give 110% and a fun, competitive spirit to the 5k’); and a free fitness + yoga bootcamp on Hackney Marshes, with paid access for a VIP front row. Tickets also include the ‘celebratory festival experience’.
Virgin Sport is ‘passionate about enhancing the lives of young people and supporting festival host communities’. In its first Hackney event, Virgin Sport partners with Youth Sport Trust to get more kids in Hackney playing sports. Virgin Sport welcomes all prospective charity partners to its events and charges charities the same rate as participants, to encourage more people to move for a cause.
Virgin Sport is co-located in New York City and London, and led by CEO Mary Wittenberg, former President/CEO of New York Road Runners and Race Director for the New York City Marathon. In the coming months, Virgin Sport will expand to new festivals of sport and active lifestyle products in cities and communities around the world.
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group Founder, said “Sport is something that I try to make time for every day. Pushing past physical and mental expectations has been an important part of my life. Some of my favourite memories have been spent running, cycling and being active with family and friends. Festivals of sport embody our work hard play hard lifestyle at Virgin, and I can’t wait to line up with everyone in Hackney and San Francisco.”
Mary Wittenberg, CEO of Virgin Sport, said “We are so excited to welcome you to the starting line of Virgin Sport and share our vision for a healthier, more active world. We aim to enhance lives by making sport accessible, irresistible and connected to our host neighbourhoods. We hope you will join us for our first steps this year, and many more miles together in the coming years.”