Hitting
its Stride

RBC Race for the Kids
charity event returns to Tokyo

One of the things many of us are looking for during the pandemic is an opportunity to get out and connect. And being able to do that while supporting a great cause is even better. That’s what Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) Race for the Kids event offers. 

The first RBC Race for the Kids was held in 2009 in New York City. Since then, the event has grown to 17 in-person races held around the world, and has fielded more than 290,000 participants. The races have raised in excess of C$65 million to help over 30 charities that extend support to young people. 

VIRTUAL PIVOT 

However, last year the global event faced — and rose to — a challenge, according to RBC Tokyo Branch Head of Business Management & Administration Alan Sorba. “In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the series of in-person races couldn’t happen. So we pivoted to a global, virtual RBC Race for the Kids, to unite participants all around the world to continue to raise much-needed funds for our charity partners and the youth they support. Last year, over 33,000 participants from more than 120 countries raised upwards of C$8.8 million.”

In fact, Sorba explained, shifting to the new format allowed the event to expand its network of charitable partners and the pool of people who could participate. The results were extremely positive. “Last year we received a lot of feedback from participants, [who said] that they really enjoyed feeling they were part of a shared event,” he said. “By holding all of the events on the same weekend we really created a global RBC Race for the Kids community.”

“Last year, over 33,000 participants from more than 120 countries raised upwards of C$8.8 million.” 

RACING TO TOKYO 

Building on the success of this new model, they’ve added more locations for the 2021 RBC Race for the Kids event, supporting 35 charities in 19 countries. Participants in the Tokyo RBC Race for the Kids will be raising funds for Bridge for Smile, a charity that supports foster children in developing the skills and knowledge they will need by the time they reach the age of 18.

One of the things that makes the new format so engaging is its flexibility. Registration is open to everyone and is free, and participants can choose the length of their race — anywhere from one kilometre to 15 kilometres — as well as their route. They can run, walk or roll their way along the route, making it easy to do even for families with small children. The only requirement is that participants do their race over the week-end of October 16 and 17. Many previous participants have commented on how even their young children have signed up to run a five-kilometre route, and have wanted to continue raising funds even after the event is over.

Sorba added that the event is also adding a digital way for participants to stay engaged. “We are really keen to continue the momentum and to build that race community, so we have created an innovative app for RBC Race for the Kids this year. This makes teaming up and engaging with friends, family and other participants fun and easy.”

COMMUNITY EFFORT  

RBC Capital Markets Associate Director Fumino Suzuki is looking forward to joining the 2021 race. “RBC Race for the Kids is for everyone; it is such a fun way to support a great cause. I am impressed and inspired by the energy and the level of commitment that all of us at RBC create with the event. Working together, we are making a positive difference in the lives of many individuals and I believe this can help our country to become an even better place to live and work for years to come,” she said. “By supporting charities such as Bridge for Smile in Japan and raising awareness for their programs, we can help young people access the right care at the right time and get back on track to a brighter future. That is why I am pleased to lend my support to this meaningful cause.” 

To find out how you can take part in the 2021 RBC Race for the Kids, visit www.rbcraceforthekids.com