Runners tackle the gruelling Soweto Marathon in the south of Joburg yesterday. Photo: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Soweto Marathon runners, spectators and surrounding community are in for a treat this year as Old Mutual leverages this iconic sponsorship to inspire more people to #MoveLiveBecome their exceptional best.

Not only will the leading financial services provider, with their recent social movement partner; Move the Nation, be announcing the winner of the all-expenses paid trip to the 2020 Barcelona Marathon, but runners and spectators will also have access to financial advice and rewards at the Soweto Marathon exhibition. In addition, over 400 underprivileged runners and learners from Orlando West high school will also benefit.

“As a responsible business that is highly involved in the communities we serve; our purpose is to champion mutually positive futures every day.  The world of running is evolving and so is our approach towards enabling more runners to take small steps towards great rewards,” says Thobile Tshabalala, Head of Brand at Old Mutual. Through our recent partnership with Move The Nation, we are personalising the conversation around financial fitness and re-positioning ourselves as an easily-accessible life coach that can share valuable financial advice”.

Having sponsored the Soweto Marathon since 2015, Old Mutual is re-imaging its role and investment in this health and socially driven sport and seeks to leverage the unifying power of sport to demonstrate the similarities between physical and financial fitness; both requiring a clear goal, motivation, coaching, support and commitment.  Old Mutual believes that it can add more value to the running community by entering into the social and community based world of runners.

To this end, Old Mutual will be showcasing their recent partnership with Move the Nation, a specialist consulting and activations enterprise. It is a social movement aimed at inspiring the country to get active and healthier through running activities that are fun, educative and all inclusive.  They encourage performance improvement in a safe and supportive group environment premised on the principle that ‘by running together we win together.’ 

Led by expert coaches, mentors and athletes such as Kabelo Mabalane and Peteni Kuzwayo, Move The Nation’s contribution to the running community closely matches Old Mutual’ s organisational purpose of championing positive futures.

“Over the last few months, we have been inspiring runners in Soweto and Sandton, encouraging them to achieve their personal exceptional best in preparation for the Soweto Marathon. With Old Mutual’ s support we will now be providing Move The Nation members access to financial management tools and rewards. We are looking forward to seeing these runners rise to the occasion on race day and are excited to be awarding one of them with a fully paid trip to the Barcelona Marathon in 2020, courtesy of our partnership with Old Mutual. This shows that small steps really can lead to great rewards,’ says Kabelo Mabalane, coach at Move The Nation.

To ensure the Soweto Marathon is an inclusive race, Old Mutual has also partnered with the Soweto Marathon Trust and the Orlando West High School to establish the Soweto Marathon Runners Village.

The temporary Runners Village (a concept piloted by Old Mutual in 2017) provides free accommodation, transport and meals for runners with limited financial means, a day before the race. Deserving learners from Orlando High School where this year’s Runners Village will be set up, will receive school shoes and sanitary towels demonstrating the mutual benefits and shared value of partnerships that are aligned with a common goal. 

Mr. Joseph Malindi, principal of the school stated "When events like the Soweto Marathon come about, its inspiring for teachers and pupils alike to see how working together can make such a positive difference in all our lives. We are grateful for the opportunity to support these runners and give them somewhere to stay. Perhaps it may even lead to some of our own student following in their footsteps to realise they too can achieve their dreams".

 “We are delighted to be working with Old Mutual again to bring the standard and quality of our Soweto Marathon to yet another level. The work we do within the Soweto Marathon Trust is all about empowering our community and through a platform like this, and with partners like Old Mutual we can truly make a valuable impact on the people within our community", stated Mr. Sello Khunou, Chairman of the Soweto Marathon Trust.