APRIL 2019

Laguna Phuket Marathon 2019 supports the UNHCR
Phuket, 8-9 June 2019

Sports can be a powerful tool to promote development and peace and is often recognised as a key contributor to promoting tolerance, respect and the empowerment of women, marginalised individuals and communities. By supporting the UNHCR “2 billion kilometres to safety” campaign, Laguna Phuket Marathon 2019 exemplifies sports’ unique ability to drive change.

Every year, refugees from places like South Sudan, Uganda, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Syria travel two billion kilometres to reach the nearest point of safety. The journeys are long, difficult and dangerous and are often undertaken with very little resources. The UNHCR “2 billion kilometres to safety” campaign is not only a show of solidarity but also an effort to build better understanding of refugees and raise money to protect them and help them rebuild their lives.

Everyone from recreational walkers, joggers and runners to professional athletes can join the campaign and make every step count. The UNHCR has teamed up with popular fitness apps like Fitbit and Strava allowing people to track their steps and see their contributions in miles.

This year for the first time, Laguna Phuket Marathon is not only supporting the Laguna Phuket Foundation’s Children First Fund, it is also supporting the UNHCR and its efforts to build a better future for refugees. “Running has become very popular in recent years and it’s great to see more and more people enjoying a healthy activity. At the same time, we are seeing runners supporting charitable causes through raising funds and profiles, and we are proud that Laguna Phuket Marathon continues to support Laguna Phuket Foundation’s Children First Fund, and for the first time this year the UNHCR,” said Roman Floesser, General Manager GAA Events, the organiser of Laguna Phuket Marathon.

In a toolkit published earlier this year, the UN and the SDGs Fund highlighted the importance of cross-sector partnerships to encourage the formation of alliances between sectors, and experts such as Matthew Yeomans, Founder of Sustainly, a consultancy specialising in SDG strategies for brands, have argued that today’s consumers expect brands to take a stand on issues they believe in regarding human rights, race and sexual orientation. In order to stay relevant and connect with today’s consumers, brands must show that they exist for other than purely commercial purposes. By supporting the UNHCR “2 billion kilometres to safety” campaign, Laguna Phuket Marathon is a great example of how sports can help promote and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Paul Poole (South East Asia) Co., Ltd. is an independent marketing consultancy based in Bangkok, Thailand specialising in commercial sponsorship and partnership marketing, working with both rights holders and brands - acting as a catalyst by bringing them together and maximising the relationship.

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