Local businessmen expand their philanthropic venture into Yorkshire
A brand new sporting event is set to open in Leeds next year. The Leeds Eco Trail Trekker will be the first UK fitness event and family festival which encourages participants to walk, jog or run a 10k or 30k course, together as a team of four.
Supported by and organised in conjunction with Leeds Beckett University and Yorkshire Sport Foundation, the festival is set to encourage people to visit Leeds and give big cash boosts to charities acting as the launch pad for a new global charitable endeavor.
Eco Trail Trekker is the brainchild of whiterose entrepreneurs Robert Kirby and Paul Collins and their first festival aims to showcase the greener side of Leeds, promoting environmental awareness, leadership and teamwork with health and wellness being at the core.
Leisure guru, Paul and leadership expert and author, Robert met nearly 30 years ago and have been collaborating together ever since. Paul was born and bred in Leeds, now spending half his time in Florida and half in Leeds. Robert was responsible for the launch of Leeds Crowne Plaza hotel in 1990 and now lives in Penang, Malaysia.
Their business model is based on Robert’s highly successful Macau event, Eco Trail Hiker. Since its launch in 2010, the fitness festival has raised two million Hong Kong dollars for local charities with over 14,000 people taking part. This year’s event sold out in 18 hours and the business duo are hoping for similar success here in the UK over the forthcoming years.
Paul explains: “Our modern business model is launching in Leeds, our home city and over the next three years will translate into a global franchise programme, we’re anticipating another 14 events in the UK by 2018. We recognise the wealth of experienced business people in the UK who have the attitude and ability to make a difference to people’s health and wellness, whilst having the professionalism to run successful events and turn entry fees into viable donations to charities, this is what we want to tap into.
"We’re committed to donating a minimum of 50% of entry fees to designated charities and aim to have over 4000 participants next year. Each competitor will pay £25 to enter the 10k race and £35 to enter the 30k race. Every festival we launch across the UK will have designated charities. For Leeds, we have already pledged to support Marie Curie Foundation, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Canal and River Trust and Leeds Lord Mayor’s Charity. Collectively they will benefit from around a £60,000 cash injection next year. Along with the individual donations competitors raise themselves, we project that events will raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity.”
Martin Browne from Yorkshire Sport Foundation adds: “As a charity that aims to get more people active, Yorkshire Sport Foundation welcomes the UK launch of Eco Trail Trekker in Leeds. We are pleased to contribute to this exciting addition to Yorkshire’s sport and physical activity calendar.”
Eco Trail Trekker will take place 14th – 15th October 2017 at Leeds Beckett University where Yorkshire Sport Foundation will organise a mass family festival. Teams of four must cross all check points and the finish line together, working as a unit is one of the core aims of the event. Each member of the team will be given a goody bag containing team jersey, cap, water bottle and other great give-a-ways, as well as receiving a lunch box and drink on completion of the course prior to the finish party.
Maps of the courses are available to download from the recently launched website, www.ecotrailtrekker.com and teams will be able to register online from the 1st November 2016 or sooner, on a first-come-first served basis.