IN keeping with its commitment to encourage active living amongst Nigerians, Eva, the premium table water brand of Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, has extending its “Be Eva Active” Campaign to the residents of Ajegunle/Agege Community, a rural part of Agege Local Government Area, Lagos through a staged six-kilometre walk, which took place on Saturday, 2nd June, 2012.
Over 150 people participated in the walk, which started at the Yidi Playing Ground on Matthew Street.
The participants walked through Oba Akran Road, turned under the Ikeja Bridge and then headed back to the start point; covering the distance of six kilometres. Along the way, they were refreshed with bottles of Eva Water provided by Coca-Cola Nigeria.
The walk was organised in collaboration with members of the Yidi Football Association, an amateur club in the neighbourhood.
The “Be Eva Active” is borne out of the brand’s vision to promote wellness by encouraging Nigerians to make walking an active part of their lifestyle through the Eva Fun Walk – a community-based exercise and fitness programme, which also helps to build better connected communities. The programme was initiated in May 2011; and the 2012 edition was launched at the National Stadium, Surulere, on March 24th, 2012.
Azeez Adeosun, a member of the Yidi Football club and staff of Agege Local Government Area, thanked Eva for bringing the exercise to their community. “In this community, we understand the importance of fitness and healthy lifestyle,” he said. “So, when we saw the Eva Fun Walk activations going on around Lagos, we felt that we had to do the same here to encourage our people to come out and exercise themselves.”
“We understand that not all of us can play football either by virtue of not being interested or age not being on ones side. But walking has got no limitations; people of all ages can be a part and have fun walking. It is also a great way to exercise too. So that is why we approached Eva and we are grateful that they supported us in a big way.”
Speaking about the rationale for taking the Be Eva Campaign to Ajegunle, Soji Omoigui, the Brand Manager, Still Beverages, Coca-Cola Nigeria, said she was impressed by the insistence of the members of the football club to improve health of the people in their community. “We are trying to entrench a culture of individuals desiring to live active and healthy lives. We want the ‘Be Eva Campaign’ to reach all parts of the country that is why we have liberalised the organisation of the Fun Walk by advertising on our Facebook page to attract interested communities” she said. “This approach is paying off given the responses we have received, as typified by the Yidi football club”.
The walk at Ajegunle/Agege lasted about an hour and the participants had fun as they walked. Interestingly, participants cut across all economic strata, signifying that awareness and desire for healthy living is no longer exclusive to a few. “This is the kind of reaction we want, and we would like to encourage them to find a routine that works for them where they can get together and take this walk, maybe once or twice a month, so they can build a healthier community and build stronger relationships”, Omoigui added.
She also said that the company plans to reach as many communities, estates and neighborhoods as possible and called on resident associations and gyms interested in activating similar programmes to do so at www.facebook.com/evafunwalk.
Residents of the Ajegunle/Agege area also commended the premium table water brand for motivating them to take up a challenge that has often been a victim of procrastination.
Olushola Olori, a resident who took part in the walk, confessed that he had not exercised in six months. “It was nice to see people on my street walking, exercising and chatting together,” he said. “I hope we can do this more regularly; and I and my family will surely participate in the Eva Fun Walk again.”
The Eva Fun Walk is activated by Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited’s ‘Live Positively’ initiative and is endorsed by the Lagos State Government. The campaign encourages residents to engage in regular cardiovascular exercises, as well as builds more inclusive and connected communities.