Home Run initiative launched in KSA encouraging people to stay active

People have been interacting with the competition across social media platforms, with some posting their daily running results. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 19 May 2020

Home Run initiative launched in KSA encouraging people to stay active

  • The competition aims to help people stay fit and boost their energy levels amid the steps taken to fight COVID-19

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Sports has launched the Home Run competition that aims to engage a large portion of society in activities to enhance health and physical well-being.

The competition comes at a time when people’s physical activity has been restricted amid the lockdown imposed by the Kingdom as a preventive measure to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The competition, which will run until May 28, involves all contests from full and half marathons to sprint competitions.
Registered participants will be able to link their personal profiles with their Strave or Fitbit accounts through the website www.ksahomerun.inphota.com in order to input the information directly from their personal tracking devices.
Winners will be rewarded with smart watches, gym subscriptions and home gym equipment.
People have been interacting with the competition across social media platforms, with some posting their daily running results, while others posted videos and pictures of themselves running at home using treadmills or in their yards.

FASTFACTS

• The competition, which will run until May 28, involves all contests from full and half marathons to sprint competitions.

• Registered participants will be able to link their personal profiles with their Strave or Fitbit accounts through the website www.ksahomerun.inphota.com. 

Sara Khalid, a participant in the 10-km running competition from Dammam, said she found the idea of the competition attractive. “You feel like you are in a marathon or a half marathon while you are staying at home and safe. It encourages you to move more and compete remotely. It’s professional and well-organized,” she said.
Fayez Rami, a 29-year-old participant in the half marathon from Riyadh, said the competition had helped him get back a portion of his energy and fitness that he had lost during the curfew.
“I don’t have a treadmill at home, but being part of a group competing with different people from all over the Kingdom and outside the Kingdom pushes you to do your best and keeps your spirit high,” he said.

The contest has helped me get back a portion of my energy and fitness that I had lost during the curfew.

Fayez Rami

Reem Aldwaik, a graphic designer from Jeddah, said she encouraged her 12-year-old son to participate in the competition as she found the idea appealing, although she encountered some technical issues that lead to registering inaccurate results for her son’s run.
“The Ministry of Sports (should run) a separate category for kids so they don’t miss out on getting rewards,” she said.
Sports Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said in a tweet: “Both the Home Run and E-Gym are initiatives that (were) launched to encourage people to do different kinds of sports through digital platforms.”


Bayut and Dubizzle merge to create a Dubai-based unicorn company

Updated 23 min 4 sec ago

Bayut and Dubizzle merge to create a Dubai-based unicorn company

  • The two owner companies will also run a $150 million investment round
  • EMGP will continue operating both Bayut and Dubizzle in the UAE

DUBAI: The owners of UAE technology firms Bayut and Dubizzle have announced a merger which will form a $1 billion Dubai-based unicorn company, state news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.
Emerging Markets Property Group, EMPG, and OLX Group will also run a $150 million investment round as part of the agreement to merge their MENA and South Asia operations.
Unicorn companies are privately held startups valued at over $1 billion.
The merger makes OLX, EMGS’s largest single holder with 39 percent of shares. EMGP will continue operating both Bayut and Dubizzle in the UAE, and the merger will bring OLX entities in Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan and several GCC countries into the company’s reach.
“This merger of EMPG and OLX will allow us to better serve our customers, given that both operate brands with a strong following and will allow us to leverage existing tech and data to paint a more accurate picture of the state of affairs in the real estate industry across the region. At the same time, we will be making significant technology investments to provide more value to all users of property, automotive and other segments of the Dubizzle and OLX platform,” Head of EMGP MENA Haider Ali Khan said.
The cumulative value of properties sold in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon and Pakistan through the websites is estimated at $8.984 billion, offering a possible commission pool of above $1.9 billion for real estate agents.
Meanwhile, Ali Maabereh, head of mergers and acquisition (M&A) at KMPG in Saudi Arabia said M&A activity will increase in GCC countries amid the coronavirus pandemic as SMEs and several large corporates will look for capital injections to satisfy working capital needs.
“The current pandemic is creating a lot of uncertainties and contradictions in what to expect after the dust settles. The expected key impacts on companies are shortages of liquidity and working capital requirements. Though companies might be running a healthy P&L, there will be significant pressure on working capital requirements,” he said.