For eight consecutive years, we have organised and hosted the Colt Charity Bike Ride. An annual event, where we take 130 riders and 40 support crew, with the goal of riding between two Colt cities, covering anywhere between 500km – 700km in four days. It is Colt’s single biggest CSR event, and in the years that it has been running we have donated more than €1.34 million to charities around the globe.
At the beginning of 2020, we were in full planning mode for this year’s event, where we planned to ride from Brussels to Dusseldorf, and the enthusiasm of our employees was palpable. The day we opened rider registration in early March was record-breaking for us, and the event sold out in just two minutes. A few weeks later, it became clear that a global pandemic was going to get in the way of us holding the 2020 event. Not deterred, we quickly refocused on the challenge of how we could still do the Colt Charity Bike Ride. We were clear on our goal and kept fundraising at the front of our minds to support our charity partners and to help keep Colties connected with a common purpose.
After a few months and many brainstorms, the Colt Charity Challenge 2020 was born – a virtual event to be held in September, where all Colt employees (and anyone in our wider Colt community) are collectively challenged to travel the length of the Colt network – that’s 100,000 kilometres of combined activities. You can get involved by running, swimming, cycling, walking, dancing, rowing, kayaking – if your activity can cover a distance, you’re in!
When I say ‘all Colt employees’, I really do mean it. While the logistics of the Colt Charity Bike Ride made it difficult to take more people and let’s face it, not everyone gets excited about sitting on a bike for four days straight. We were clear on finding a way that not only all Colt employees could participate, but also their families, friends, and even our wider industry community could join in too. We’ve kept our very ambitious target to raise €150,000 globally, and Colt will make fund-matching available to help push this higher, moving closer to our goal of raising €2 million by the event’s 10th anniversary in 2021.
Now, more than ever before, our charity partners need our support. Covid-19 has plunged many charities into financial hardship, and this year the Colt Charity Challenge will support a number of local charitable organisations based in countries where Colt operates. As difficult as it will be to hit a combined 7,500km of activities per day during this challenge, these charities carry out vital work and need our support to continue their amazing efforts.
Connectivity is at the heart of everything we do. During this extended period away from the office, our community hasn’t been able to bond and socialise as we did before. The Colt Charity Challenge is an opportunity for all Colties to work together towards a common goal, and connect over a love of philanthropy and physical activity.
This event also provides an opportunity to maintain our physical and mental well-being by getting active in support of charity and sharing these successes with fellow Colties worldwide. The event takes place between 9-22 September, and we will be counting down to the event with videos, colleague stories, and charity spotlights.
Many of us have had to shift a lot of our expectations during the pandemic, but one thing that remains true is Colt’s ability to come together and give back to our communities, this makes me incredibly proud. As a business, we aim to transform the way the world works through the power of connectivity, and by coming together and connecting – albeit virtually – I believe we’ll be able to make a substantial difference to the charities we support and truly give back to the wider community.
How to sign up
We’ll be using an app called MyVirtualMission to track our kilometres for the challenge. Here’s how to get set up:
- Choose your charity and donate – Click on your chosen charity on this page to donate to their fundraising page (€20 minimum pp). Leave your full name so we can approve your access on MyVirtualMission. If you’re signing multiple people up in one donation, please provide everyone’s names.
- Sign up to MyVirtualMission – Click here to set up your account. Press the ‘Sign in’ button. In the bottom right of the pop-up, click ‘Sign up’. Fill in your details to create your account. You’ll be asked to select your time zone and distance unit (please choose kilometres).
- Join The Colt Charity Challenge Mission – While you’re logged in to your MyVirtualMission account, click here to sign up to the challenge. Press the ‘Join’ button, select your team (Colt Charity Challenge) and enter the charity and country that you donated to.
The Colt event team will verify your charity donation and accept you into the challenge – this may take a couple of days so please bear with us!
To install MyVirtualMission on your mobile, search for it in the App Store or Google Play Store. If you want to sync MyVirtualMission with your apps like FitBit and Strava to track your kilometres, click ‘My Account’ and select ‘My Connections’. If you don’t have any apps to connect, you can manually enter your distance travelled.
You’re all set! The app will start recording your kilometres on the first day of the challenge (9 September).