Thomsons Online Benefits staff train for triathlon

EXCLUSIVE: Thomsons Online Benefits has arranged weekly training sessions, motivational speakers, weekly sports massages, a nutritionist, a physiotherapist and branded kit to help its employees train for the 2012 Virgin London Triathlon on 22 September.

More than 50 employees are training for the event.

Co-founders Michael Whitfield and Chris Bruce created the Thomsons Traithlon Challenge to leverage the excitement of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as a key strategy for improving employee health and wellbeing, and as part of the firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy.

The Thomsons Triathlon Challenge aims to raise £20,000 for the firm’s corporate charities The Passage and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Since January, Thomsons Online Benefits has helped prepare its staff through a variety of training and motivational sessions, including:

  • Weekly training sessions with personal trainer Henry Barratt, a former professional rugby player.
  • A three-part session with Kevin Currell, the British Triathlon and English Institute of Sports nutritionist, with advice on pre-, during and post-triathlon nutrition.
  • As session with Ben Bright, Team GB coach for the Men’s Olympic Triathlon.
  • Weekly sports massage sessions in the office.
  • Advice from a sports physiotherapist.

Bruce said: “Having taken part in several triathlons, I was really excited about the prospect of getting as many Thomsons’ employees as possible involved in the mental and physical challenge of preparing and competing in the London Triathlon.

“In addition to supporting Thomsons’ employees we are also very keen to sponsor one of Britain’s foremost triathletes. We chose Vanessa Raw and, in the week prior to the London Triathlon, she will be visiting our office to give all our athletes a final gee up, and some words of advice.”

Whitfield added: “Core to Thomsons’ culture is our Pay It Forward scheme, where we encourage our staff to take part in charitable activities. We are aiming to raise £20,000 for our two chosen charities, The Passage and Great Ormond Street Hospital, and we are already well on our way to achieving this.

“The Passage runs London’s largest voluntary sector day centre for homeless and vulnerable people. We have supported the charity for a number of years with monthly collections at Victoria station, clothes recycling and other activities, and know that the money we raise will continue to help those in our local community.

“We also chose to support Gosh for their pioneering work in developing new treatments and cures for childhood illnesses”

Hayley Fisher, head of HR at Thomsons Online Benefits, said: “We are delighted with how many of our employees have chosen to take part in the Thomsons Triathlon Challenge, and have really noticed that it has had an impact on both employee engagement and improved the health and wellbeing of those involved.

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“The fact that we have both individuals and teams competing has really got the competitive spirit that thrives in our culture ignited.”

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