A new kind of festival season

11 April 2017 by
First published: 19 April 2017

A new kind of festival season is upon us – and it’s the healthiest yet! Sir Richard Branson’s multi-million-pound Virgin group has announced its newest enterprise: Virgin Sport, launching now in the UK and US, aims to bring health and fitness to the global masses, and do it a little differently, too. The aim is to disrupt the way people think about fitness and exercise by bringing friends, family and communities together for innovative experiences and unique activities.

Virgin is certainly no stranger to the industry. With Virgin Active and Virgin Pulse firmly under its belt, and a continued sponsorship of the Virgin Active London Triathlon and the Virgin Money London Marathon (which Branson and his two children ran back in 2010), it’s safe to say the brand knows a thing or two about health and fitness.

At the centre of this latest launch is Virgin Sport’s four Festivals of Sport events, which will be held throughout the UK and US in 2017, two of which will be right here in London (Hackney and Westminster). Each event will feature a half marathon and a shorter running event such as a 5K – but the fun won’t be limited to running. Cycling and other fitness sessions – like yoga and bootcamp-style classes – will be available, while the festivals will also showcase local art, music and culture for a ‘mash-up’ style event that truly offers something for everyone.

Ultimately Virgin Sport wants to support people of all shapes and sizes to push the boundaries and live life to the fullest – but what’s in it for you? We spoke to Mary Wittenberg, CEO of Virgin Sport, to find out how we can benefit from it.

It helps people overcome barriers

‘We’ve all been there… we’re stressed, bored, lonely, tired from work, don’t know how to get started,’ explains Mary. ‘Virgin Sport aims to help you overcome these barriers by bringing people together and making running and fitness more fun and accessible.’

It’s hard but fun

‘Part of the transformation comes from pushing ourselves… the challenge, the sweat, the hard part,’ says Mary. ‘But we think it can also be fun along the way. At Virgin Sport, we sweat with swagger and try to build in moments of surprise and delight along the way.’

You become part of a community

‘The most essential part of our experience is bringing people together for motivation, camaraderie and fun,’ says Mary. ‘It’s always easier to get in a workout when we’re meeting a friend or a group. It’s even better when the best of our parks, streets and small businesses shine along the way.’

It offers variety

‘In the past, it was popular to focus on one sport. We want variety and diversity,’ explains Mary. ‘All Virgin Sport festivals have a signature distance run, shorter sprint run, group fitness or yoga, and there will be more sports in the future! We think it’s healthiest and most fun to offer lots of ways to move.’

You stay motivated after the event

‘By bringing people together for irresistible experiences and supporting local communities, we aim to cheer on Sporters well beyond race day,’ Mary adds.

Interested? Head to virgin.com or more information.