Balega Presents Induna Award to Two Stores at Fleet Feet Sports National Conference

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Roanoke and West Hartford stores honored with outstanding community service award

DURHAM, N.C. - JUNE 28, 2017)

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Balega International, a leading performance sock brand in the run specialty market, honored two Fleet Feet Sports stores for outstanding community service and presented its prestigious Induna award to the Roanoke and West Hartford store owners during the annual Fleet Feet Sports National Conference in Pinehurst, N.C. on June 20, 2017.

In South African Zulu culture, the ties of family and community are paramount. Individuals who show great leadership, bravery or service within their community are held in high esteem. In Zulu society, these people are given the title “Induna,” which means great leader, ambassador or headman. Balega’s Induna award recognizes the Fleet Feet Sports store that has shown outstanding leadership, commitment and service to their local community throughout the preceding year.

“Since Balega’s inception, we have sought meaningful ways to pay tribute to the South African culture and country that is so much part of our identity,” said Tanya Pictor, Vice President of Marketing at Implus Specialty. “The Induna award was envisioned as a symbol of recognition for a Fleet Feet Sports store that truly moves the needle and pushes the boundaries in their own communities.”

The Balega team is pleased to be able to present two awards this year to the Roanoke and West Hartford stores to acknowledge their noteworthy and generous contributions to their communities.

In 2012, Fleet Feet Sports West Hartford created a scholarship called “Run to a Better Future” that provides $10,000 a year for four years to a student-runner from Capital Preparatory Magnet School in downtown Hartford so they could afford to stay in school for four full years. The success of this program is evident in two of the scholarship’s recipients who now are employed full time by Fleet Feet Sports West Hartford.

The West Hartford team has invested significant time and resources in three additional initiatives that serve the under-privileged and at-risk populations in its community, including its ‘Footwear with Care’ campaign providing shoes for the homeless; Love Wins/Finish the Race which educates at-risk kids with a fun and active day at a local college; and the Little Manchester Road Race with more than 800 kids ages 2-12 participating in 2016 – including many from financially-challenged families.

“While we love being a part of our customers’ lives, it’s being able to help care for those in our community at-large who don’t always have someone looking out for them that fuels us,” said Stephanie Blozy, owner of Fleet Feet Sports West Hartford. “Without the support of our community who choose to shop and support local businesses, Fleet Feet Sports West Hartford wouldn't exist. To show our gratitude, we like to give back by paying it forward - especially when it allows us to share the joy of running...one shoe at a time!” To learn more about Fleet Feet West Hartford, visit fleetfeethartford.com.

In 2015, Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke store owners Robin and Blaine Lewis created a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Project Forward, with the mission: Move Roanoke Forward One Step at a Time. Project Forward and Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke have brought together its loyal customers, vendors and the community to raise money and provide shoes, socks and fitness for several different causes and groups of people for specific reasons.

“We are very passionate about helping children in Roanoke who have limited resources and other meaningful causes that affect the lives of our staff and our community,” said Robin Lewis, owner of Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke. “We believe that through Fleet Feet Sports, Project Forward, our wonderful vendors and local community, we can work together to Move Roanoke Forward One Step at a Time.” To learn more about Fleet Feet Roanoke, please visit fleetfeetroanoke.com.

About Balega International

A leading performance sock brand in the run specialty market, Balega is a designer and manufacturer of technical performance socks and part of the Implus family of brands. With a proud American-South African initiative, the company develops its product in both South Africa and North Carolina production facilities utilizing the best performance yarns produced in the United States. Crafted for a superior fit and unmatched comfort, Balega is committed to the technical excellence, quality, and performance expected in the Balega brand. A brand with ‘sole,’ Balega prides itself on its commitment to the community with projects aimed at enriching those less fortunate than ourselves. For more information, please visit www.balega.com.

About Implus International

A leading performance sock brand in the run specialty market, Balega is a designer and manufacturer of technical performance socks and part of the Implus family of brands. With a proud American-South African initiative, the company develops its products in both South Africa and North Carolina production facilities utilizing the best performance yarns produced in the United States. Crafted for a superior fit and unmatched comfort, Balega is committed to the technical excellence, quality, and performance expected from the Balega brand. For more information, visit www.implus.com.

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