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Reliving the Pomerleau Virtual Challenge

A FUN WAY TO PROMOTE HEALTHY HABITS

When gyms closed and many employees started working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to give our employees a whole new reason to stay active and connected. With that, the Pomerleau Virtual Challenge was born!

On May 14, 2020, 400 Pomerleau and Borea employees from across Canada were divided into two teams and met on their respective, virtual, starting lines. They had one common goal: to engage in physical activity to collectively accumulate the 7,289 kilometres that separate our sites in Victoria and our office in St. John's.

Team West Side Story: Faster Than Your Internet started in Victoria and confronted team East Side Story: More Powerful Than Your WIFI who took off from St-John’s.

ACTIVE LIFESTYLES AND ADAPTABILITY

Athletic Challenges have been a staple in the Pomerleau culture and DNA for many years. They combine team-building exercises and promote a healthy and fit organization. After the Pomerleau Challenge was postponed from 2020 to 2021, the Virtual Challenge presented an opportunity to keep the Challenge spirit alive.

Very quickly, we watched as employees across the country threw themselves into the Virtual Challenge, and the Pomerleau Way came alive before our eyes. Over an eight-week period, participants recorded and shared pictures of over 200 activities every day! This included an average weekly amount of over 4000 km of cycling, 500 km of running, 500 km of walking as well as over 4000 km of various activities such as kayaking, rollerblading, swimming, rock climbing, and dancing, to name a few. All stationary activities were converted into kilometers and the challenge was open to all fitness levels. It wasn’t long before our teams crossed Canada, prompting phase two of the Virtual Challenge: The Virtual World Tour a 90,907 km journey per team with stopovers on six continents.

PHILANTHROPY AND SPREADING LOVE

By participating in the Virtual Challenge, our employees helped to spread the message that Love is an Essential Service. Pomerleau decided to donate $2.50 for each kilometre travelled as part of the $600,000 donated specifically help organizations working in health care, health research and food support for vulnerable populations most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MOTIVATION AND SUPPORT

To keep our participants motivated, we offered live, weekly, virtual Pilates, strength and conditioning, running and biking sessions all designed to be followed at home. We also offered fitness and social media Challenges with opportunities for teams to win bonus kilometres.  Participants enjoyed a community of support and encouragement throughout the race. When one team lagged, we saw several employees who, although were not participants in the challenge, jump in to donate burpees to help them catch up with their opponents. When we launched a poll on Facebook where each vote was converted into kilometres, dozens of employees tagged their networks on social media to help our teams get to the finish line quicker. Our participants gave each other kudos and wrote encouraging messages on each other’s publications. They posted photos that took us into their homes and makeshift gyms, invited us on their dog walks, daily commutes, and evening family walks to the ice-cream shop with their kids.

It is precisely this kind of spirit that is at the core of the strong family values that Pomerleau was built on over 50 years ago. It’s nice to see that our company values are still going strong today.

Congratulations! Thanks for keeping us united in spirit even when we’re physically apart!