The 24th of March 2012 will mark the National Bank of Kuwait’s (NBK), 18th annual Walkathon, which has been part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program initiative for 17 years. The idea promotes the importance of a healthy environment and lifestyle. Seventeen years ago, “A Healthy Life with Every Step” was the slogan, and this is as true today as it ever was.
NBK has spent over KD 30 Million in contribution to CSR activities in the past 3 years. One of the most well known activities is the Walkathon; Last year’s event attracted more than 12,000 participants and 50 NBK staff members volunteered their time to help put together this event. At the end, the group effort and time put into this project was well worth it.
Want to know what you’re in for this year? This is how an NBK volunteer describes what happened at last year’s event:
5:30 a.m. – Really? My brain was capable of only one thought; can I sleep for another 5 minutes? The night before Kuwait had experienced one of its worst sandstorms ever, the thought that maybe it would affect today’s Walkathon came to mind. Just as I was about to doze off with that idea in mind, I got a phone call – the Walkathon was on, the weather was great.
I had 30 minutes to get up, get ready and be at the Green Island.
6:05 a.m. –This was it; the culmination of a month-and-a-half’s work at the Walkathon registration center would start to unfold. I arrived at the Island, still half asleep, and realized the amount of work that had to be done – chairs to be set up, flags to be placed, finish lines to be drawn and preparation of the Zeina Walkathon race track all needed to be finished in less than 3 hours.
8:20 a.m. – Time flew! Over a thousand children had showed up in a little over two hours and were now running around in search for their colored posts, the NBK Zeina race is organized according to age, and each age group is associated with a color. Standing at each post, volunteers welcomed the Zeina contestants, singing, warming up and getting ready to set their energy loose with the sound of the whistle.
11:50 a.m. – By now the last Zeina race was over. Children had gathered in the multicolored Romanian theater (located in Green Island). Were they watched a magic show, and a spectacular animal show and finally the awarding of the winners of each Zeina group. Zeina Walkathon is aimed at all children and is also open to non-NBK account holders so everyone can enjoy this event.
1:00 p.m. – At this point the preparation for the 6k and 8k walk was almost done. Signs were placed on the Gulf Road so participants knew the remaining distance as they raced. The men’s race started at the Walkathon registration center, while the women took off from Marina Crescent. The women, brimming with joy and competitive spirit, walking in their colored teams made the Gulf Road a vibrant sight to behold. It truly ended up being a group community activity.
6:35 p.m. – Ten hours after the children’s race, the main event was just about to get started. Each year NBK ends the Walkathon with a celebration at Green Island, with great giveaways and special hosts to present the show. Prizes were being awarded to the top 10 winners of each age group and in a few minutes the lucky winners of the grand car prize as well as the winner of Al Jawhara would be announced, live in front of the entire crowd that was anxiously waiting.
7:20 p.m. – The grand draw of Al Jawhara for KD 125,000 was announced. The lucky winner of the 2012 Al Jawhara draw will get a chance to win KD 250,000. In fact, the 2012 Walkathon event will include more exceptional surprises as this year marks NBK’s 60th anniversary; the first quarterly draw of KD 250,000 for Al Jawhara, and for the first time NBK will be giving away two convertible, Mazda and Peugeot 2012 model cars for the grand draw of the Walkathon.
9:00 p.m. –NBK volunteers stood on the grand stage, next to the brand new car, holding the key, and calling the winner on the phone as he had left fifteen minutes prior to the draw announcement. The crowd grew silent as they waited for him to answer. All of a sudden, the winner picks up, to the voice of 12,000 people yelling in unison, “YOU WON!” Stunned, his only reply was “I just left, I never win. I never expected to win, actually. I won the car!”
This year two lucky contestants will experience the unexpected. See you there!
9 a.m – 1 p.m
4 p.m – 9 p.m
- Zaina Friends Club Race
Red 5-6 years 1 km
Yellow 7-8 years 1 km
Green 9-11 years 1 km
Blue 12-14 years 2 km
- Women’s Race ( 6 km)
Light blue Age 15 – 20
Yellow Age 21 – 35
Red Age 36 – 49
Pink Age 50 and above
- Men’s Race ( 8 km)
Dark blue Age 15 – 20
White Age 21 – 35
Green Age 36 – 49
Burgundy Age 50 and above
– Civil ID
– A free checkup performed at registration by
the Red Crescent to confirm eligibility
– Race number and hat issued on day of