‘We want Manchester and Salford bouncing with energy’: UKFast and Sports Tours International join forces

by Michelle Kight and Miles Casey

People in Manchester are being encouraged to become more active by a sponsorship deal between leading sports organisers Sports Tours International and cloud provider UKFast. 

The three-year partnership was revealed on Thursday at the Manchester UKFast campus, with Sports Tours International chief executive Chris Bird and UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones announcing the new venture.

Olympic athlete and ambassador of Sports Tours International, Dr Ron Hill MBE, Manchester Mayor, Councillor Paul Murphy, and Salford Mayor, Councillor Peter Dobbs, were also in attendance.

Almost anybody can run and a race gives you something to hang your training on

The £50,000 investment marks a move by UKFast to become the leading sponsor of two of Manchester’s running events: the We Love MCR 10K and the City of Salford 10K. Last year, both races welcomed thousands of runners and were nominated for the UK’s best 10K.

Chris Bird hoped the deal would spread the message of fitness within local communities.

He said: “UKFast represent everything we stand for: innovation and giving something back to the community. We want to engage people in sport. The company shares our values and passion for promoting sport, health and wellbeing. UKFast matches our aim – to get active.

Lawrence Jones added: “There’s a link between sport, business and the mind. We need to inspire people to get up from their desks and get their heart rates pumping. We want to get Manchester and Salford bouncing with energy. We’re aiming to get as many people involved in running as possible.”

Life-long runner Ron Hill MBE said: “Almost anybody can run and a race gives you something to hang your training on. The more running you do, the better you’ll be.

“It’s great to see UKFast investing in this and I look forward to being involved in an exciting partnership.”

The We Love MCR 10K will take place on Sunday 10 July.

The City of Salford 10K will take place on Sunday 4 September.