Fun walk a winner for workplace
TRAINING: The team of John Bostock (left), Ruwhiu Lawrence, Matekino Maxwell, Charles Jenkins, Rob Freeman, Hiku Rangihuna and Mary Foley, who won last year's workplace walking challenge. Photo / File
It's not unusual to see a group of eager Heinz Wattie's employees trekking about Hastings on their lunch break.
They're pounding the pavement three times a week over a 5km course in preparation for next month's Country2Coast fun run/walk.
So far about 40 Heinz Wattie's employees have signed up for the competition, although environment health and safety manager Mick Farrow expects even more will join in over the next couple of weeks.
Last year, Heinz Wattie's topped New Zealand businesses in an international corporate walking competition and won the Workfit Healthy Workplace award in regional business awards.
Mr Farrow said the company advertised the Country2Coast run/walk to staff as a fun health initiative that could involve the whole family.
The company is stumping up for all entry fees of staff members and their family members, and is setting up a refreshment marquee at the end of the race to reward employees who slog it out over the 7km or 16km course.
The individual benefits of getting active are well known but Mr Farrow said the health initiative benefited the company, too.
"Staff are the biggest investment, so we make sure they can stay healthy and it helps the business because we're not having to pay for sick days."
Mr Farrow said people of all athletic abilities had entered the race and the run or walk options over two distances means Country2Coast was suitable for people of all fitness levels.