Engaging the corporate demographic can be a challenge for community rec centers — after a long day at the office, local employees often choose home over the gym. However, the Peter Blum Family Y, a branch of the YMCA of South Palm Beach County, has found a way to get corporate employees out of their normal routines and into an active setting with one another.
On Saturday, November 9, the Peter Blum Y will host the ninth annual Corporate Cup Challenge, in which local companies send teams of their own employees to compete in various games and challenges.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind, Olympic-style, coed team-building, opponent taunting event that helps promote health and wellness in the workplace for local companies and organizations,” explained Phil Piedt, a board member of the YMCA of South Palm Beach County. “We host it every year and we have different events: relay races, obstacle courses, different twists on games like volleyball, basketball, soccer and charades, and the best one, tug-of-war.”
According to Piedt, the Corporate Cup is a welcomed break from the normal routine. “Think of it as a field day for corporations,” he said. “Their employees get to network outside the office, network with other companies. It’s promoting team-building and communication outside the nine to five, all while supporting the YMCA and the causes we support.”
Sponsored this year by Office Depot, the Corporate Cup Challenge welcomes organizations from all over the community to participate, including financial institutions, law firms and even the employees of local colleges.
“We have companies of all different shapes, sizes and backgrounds,” shared Piedt. “Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is coming out, and we have other universities that participate.”
And while they’re running a race, pulling on opposite ends of a huge rope, or kicking a soccer ball, every participant is having the time of his or her life. It’s a great networking event, if not a bit unconventional.
“When we’re out there, we’re giving each other high fives, and laughing and goofing around, while getting seriously competitive,” said Piedt. “It also provides an excellent way to meet CEOs, managers and partners of companies in T-shirts and shorts.”
An event of this scale — hosting 25 teams of over 400 participants, as well as spectators — is no small feat, but the staff at the Peter Blum Y takes on the challenge with enthusiasm every year.
“People wonder if we hire an event planning staff, and we don’t,” shared Brianna Silva, the business manager at the Peter Blum Y. “We do it all in-house, and we come up with all these games through a small committee of people who work here at the YMCA.”
Through the planning stages and execution, Silva has found her staff gets drawn closer together from the experience. “It’s a very fun day, very energetic — we’re all dancing, laughing, competing and having fun,” she said.
Aside from promoting workplace wellness and giving employees from all over the community the chance to engage with each other, the Corporate Cup Challenge also serves as a fundraiser for the Peter Blum Y’s financial assistance program.
“It’s all for a greater cause, which is to raise awareness about our work in the community and raise funds to give back to our financial assistance program,” shared Silva.