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How this global IT giant is supporting Indigenous communities to better embrace running, fitness and well-being

Meet Tata Consultancy Services, the official app and presenting partner of the Canberra Times Marathon Festival, which took place on Sunday, 16 April, 2023. Kelly Ryan, Head of Marketing & Communications, TCS Australia and New Zealand discusses how this global IT giant is supporting Indigenous communities to better embrace running, fitness and well-being.

“We sponsor some of the biggest running events globally, including City2Surf, TCS New York Marathon, TCS London Marathon and many more; as we believe sports brings people together. We use our sports sponsorships to build relationships and use our technology and passion for innovation to enhance event experiences.

Australia has always considered itself a sporting nation; and part and parcel of our love of sporting events is the sense of community it builds. Few sporting events can capture the true sense of community on such scale like a marathon can.  

As the Presenting and Official App Partner, TCS has also developed the official app for event participants and supporters with some, unique features. 

TCS is also building innovative and impactful technology to help support local communities and establish a strong Connection to Country. We have worked with the Elders of the Ngunawal community to raise attendees’ awareness of local Indigenous history by detailing 14 places of historical significance for the Ngunawal people across the event’s 42km course. This feature lets runners and spectators see the historical sites of significance on the interactive map and in pop-up windows as they pass or arrive at the locations.

Furthermore, the app not only allows runners to calculate their official race time and splits, but it also allows their friends and families from across the world to track their progress.

As part of our commitment to support the health and wellbeing across Indigenous communities, TCS also has a long-standing partnership with IMF, in supporting runners to participate in marathons across the world. This year also, we have over 30 runners from various Indigenous communities across the country. Their families, friends and other community members can also follow their progress using the official race app. 

Since the onset of our partnership with the IMF, we have helped over 100 Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) Graduates to participate in global marathons. According to data from Social Ventures Australia, graduates from the IMP program have developed greater meaningful employment and financial stability, improved mental health and wellbeing, increased self-belief and confidence, while their communities also benefited from having more influential leaders and were generally healthier communities.

Last year, Charlie Maher, the #1 IMP graduate, made history as the first Indigenous Australian to have completed six Abbott World Major Marathons. Charlie started his journey of running the major marathons with the TCS New York Marathon and achieved the historic feat at the TCS London Marathon in 2022.  

Another IMP graduate, Allira Jennings, is also set to become the first Indigenous woman to complete six of the world’s big marathons at the Boston marathon that was held on 17 April 2023, where TCS is the Official Technology Consulting Partner. 

Over the years, we have expanded our partnership with the IMF, and will continue to do so as we greatly value our long-standing association with them. We will continue to showcase our deep commitment to supporting Indigenous communities to participate in the simple, yet powerful thing called running. 

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