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Together, let’s continue to take millions of steps in the right direction!

July 12th 2012 by Yves Desjardins-Siciliano

Today, I am writing again (or, I suppose, typing again) to tell you about an initiative that is very close to my heart. About a month ago, a group of VIA Rail employees decided to get together and take part in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC). For those of you who are not familiar with this corporate challenge: teams comprised of seven people each are equipped with pedometers to calculate the number of steps they take daily, over a 16 week period. The goal is for each individual to take at least 10,000 steps a day (which amounts to approximately 3.2 km) as part of a concerted effort to exercise more. And why does the challenge last 16 weeks? Because that’s how much time it takes to develop a habit!

In addition to encouraging participants to exercise and develop healthy lifestyles, this initiative also promotes teamwork, helps develop new friendships, and most importantly, creates a sense of belonging and commitment within the company.

Moreover, I am really impressed to see that participants of VIA’s first GCC have already surpassed their goal: they take an average of 13,612 steps each per day. And over the last few weeks, the number has increased to 14,283 steps or 5 km each, per day! Together, VIA’s teams have taken close to 89 million steps (that’s the equivalent of almost one and a half times around the world)! In terms of calories, it equates to 7,756 large hamburgers, 22,945 glasses of wine, or 14,843 slices of cake.

Many other companies around the world are participating in the challenge, including P&G, Unilever, Nestlé and Yoplait.

I am genuinely pleased to be able to publicly express how proud I am of VIA Rail’s GCC teams, and I hope this initiative will attract new participants at VIA next year. It is definitely a step in the right direction!

About Yves Desjardins-Siciliano

Yves Desjardins-Siciliano
Yves Desjardins-Siciliano was appointed President and CEO of VIA Rail in May, 2014. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano was the Corporation's Chief Corporate & Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary. He has over 30 years’ experience in legal, regulatory and government relations, business and corporate development, marketing communications and finance. Past President of the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Division, Mr. Desjardins-Siciliano was also Chief of Staff to the federal Minister of Labour and Minister of State for Transport from 1989 to 1991.
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