Late every summer at Materialise, there comes a day when professionally dressed people suddenly transform into runners in full gear. That’s when you know it’s the day to Run4Benin. The race, which takes a route through in the green fields around Materialise HQ, raises funds to co-organize a summer school in the small West African country Benin. It also gets people off their office chairs and into their running shoes, which is great.
Summer School Benin
This project started in 2012, and is undertaken in partnership with a Belgian NGO, Hubi & Vinciane, which is active in Benin. The project provides scholarships to students who demonstrate leadership potential, enabling them to pursue higher education. Every year, Materialise sends one or two employees to Benin, to conduct a month-long summer school program and eventually select the scholarship recipients. During the program, participating students work on a community-based project of their choice, and are evaluated on their abstract thinking and presentation skills.
And it’s funded by Run4Benin.
So for one day a year, we urge everybody in the office whose running shoes haven’t got enough wear recently to find a sponsor for their run and raise some money for the summer school. As these photos will tell you, we take our fun very seriously around here. Watch out for the RapidFit+ team with their color-coordinated outfits and wigs, and CEO Fried crossing the 15km finish line!
The Grand Prizes!
There were prizes for the first-placed male and female runners for each of the three running routes (5km, 10km, and 15km). This year, we also went a step ahead and auctioned away two football jerseys signed by Belgian red devils Dries Mertens and Kevin De Bruyne. But with a dinner party following soon after, we would say everybody was a winner at Run4Benin.