It’s Back! Sign Up and Run for SA in the Vitality Running World Cup

Vitality partners with Captains Usain Bolt and Wayde van Niekerk in 2021 Running World Cup to get SA moving once more


  • Vitality and the Running World Cup today announce the return of our global mass participation running challenge for 2021
  • Participation is free by registering here or downloading the Vitality Running World Cup app.
  • Aligned to Vitality’s global ambition to get 100 million people 20% more active by 2025, and informed by research that physical activity builds resilience against COVID-19, and improves mental wellbeing
  • 39 country captains include Olympic Gold medallists Usain Bolt, Wayde van Niekerk and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill
  • When runners complete their weekly goals on their Vitality Running World Cup app, Vitality will donate a vaccine to prevent Polio, to a child in need, through UNICEF

Run for South Africa and be a part of the world’s largest mass participation event

Vitality and the Running World Cup have today announced the 2021 instalment of The Vitality Running World Cup™ (VRWC).  The annual free-to-enter, knockout, international running competition is back and aims to spark a global movement in health by empowering people to be more active.

The VRWC gives everyone – no matter their ability – a chance to run for South Africa and be a part of the world’s largest mass participation event.    

Registrations are now open for the event which takes place from 21 September to 10 October. Every participant who runs 3km in under 30 minutes will be able to earn points for their country by linking a fitness tracker of their choice. Participation is free by registering here or downloading the Vitality Running World Cup app.

 Once again, Olympian Wayde van Nierkerk will lead the country as Vitality Running World Cup captain. Eight-time gold medallist and global ambassador Usain Bolt will captain Jamaica and other country captains will be announced soon.

 Dinesh Govender, Discovery Vitality Chief Executive in South Africa, said: “The Vitality Running World Cup is part of Vitality’s global initiative to help encourage 100 million people to get 20% more active by 2025. This exciting partnership builds on our successful interventions over many years to encourage physical activity.”

“Physical inactivity today is one of the biggest threats to society in terms of its link to chronic diseases of lifestyle, which directly impacts mortality and morbidity. Given recent insights highlighting that improved physical activity can build resilience against COVID-19 and improve mental wellbeing – two additional macro health trends in our world – getting people more active every day needs our collective attention. We are excited to be partnering with the Vitality Running World Cup once again this year to get the world, and South Africa, moving more.”  

He adds that a broader aim is to support UNICEF’s immunisation campaign, in the ongoing battle to protect children against Polio. “As runners complete their weekly goals on their Vitality Running World Cup app, Vitality will donate a vaccine to a child in need through UNICEF,” says Govender.

 Big picture interventions are the goal

Vitality is the largest global platform for behaviour change, underpinning the insurance products of leading insurers worldwide, with more than 20 million members in 30 markets. The Vitality Running World Cup supports a global commitment from Vitality’s network of major insurers to change physical activity trends worldwide.

Nick Beresford, founder of the Vitality Running World Cup commented: “We are thrilled to partner with Vitality – their passion and vision for getting more people moving is the exact reason why this competition exists. The Vitality Running World Cup gives everyone a chance to take pride in where they are from and represent their country whilst encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle. No matter your running ability, every kilometre will help your country’s chance of winning. We hope to inspire the next generation of runners and get millions of people participating.”

Country captain for South Africa, Wayde van Niekerk, commented: “Last year, despite the competition halting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africa was in the lead for a gold medal. I’m excited to be the Country Captain of the Vitality Running World Cup for South Africa again, and with our experience of staying fit no matter what comes our way, to encourage all South Africans to run with me, for our country. The competition gives everyone, regardless of their level of running, the chance to get up and moving. Together, we can make SA fitter and healthier. Good luck to all the runners and their countries!”

Participating in the competition is simple, and individuals can register here or download the app and log at least 3km in under 30 minutes – the more runs each person logs, the more kilometre points they score for their country. Every run registered contributes towards their country’s total and as the weeks go by, countries with the highest number of kilometres run will progress to the knock-out stages. Each person who takes part receives a digital goodie bag and discounts for great brands and services.

Dr Mariame Sylla, Chief of Health and Nutrition for UNICEF in South Africa concludes: “Immunisation is one of the most powerful tools to protect children against potentially deadly diseases such as Poliomyelitis (Polio). Every minute, five children are saved when they are vaccinated worldwide, so this is a vital, life-saving intervention. We are very pleased to be partnering with Discovery Vitality, which will help to close the gaps to reach children in remote communities that we haven’t been able to reach through our immunisation projects. This will also help to reduce inequalities. Twinning it with running is even more powerful because getting adults moving can help prevent diseases, and importantly, by investing in Polio vaccinations for children, we are investing in our future.”

To find out more about the Vitality Running World Cup and register visit


READ MORE ON: Discovery Vitality Discovery Vitality Running World Cup sponsored wayde van niekerk

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