Finally Mummy Is Cool
Rubbing elbows with Olympic medalists and Swiss elite athletes must be one of my passions, because every year I do everything I can to be invited at the Laureus Charity Night , a gala with an incredible lineup of champions who raise money by offering lessons or experiences with them, that get auctioned during the evening. The money is then used to help children, young adults and refugees through sport and outdoor activities – not in a necessarily competitive way, but simply to enjoy the positive effects of sport (a concept I really like and try to support).
Sometimes I have attended the event as press, which means by submitting an accreditation request and then having a small office near the glamorous tables full of elegant champions and guests. I was expecting the same this year, but, to my surprise, a “real” invitation arrived. I was very excited but still thought I might be assigned to a boring table – mind you…that was silly of me, because there is no boring table at Laureus.
Anyway, I arrived and found my seat. I read the card near me. Tony Hawk. It rang a bell. Who is he who is he? I thought. A quick online check and I saw he’s the legendary skateboarder who, only on Instagram, has 7.5 million followers. Of course! Oh My God! I am sitting in the best seat in the world! And who’s my other neighbour? The best Swiss rapper, Stress! This is going to be fun, I thought, while taking a video.
Typical mummy…she is doing something fun she has no idea about. And finally she is with someone really cool!
One of my daughters texted me one minute later, seeing the video.
What do you mean…”finally”? I always do cool things!
No no; this is a cool sport mum, not like those you normally watch…
My daughter answered.
(Photos: David Hubacher)
Live music, beautiful food, and some speeches and videos later, the auction started. Baschi was on fire and entertained the audience with his signature party attitude – fun and chilled, but always the guy everybody wants to speak with. He offered a day playing and watching football with himself and his father-in-law, Günter Netzer, for the auction. It raised CHF 45,000 in a few minutes. Rainer Maria Saltzgeber, the presenter, explained by attributing 44,000 to Baschi and 1,000 to Netzer (who, being the only person in the room cooler than Baschi, smiled and let them speak).
We could see that other auctioned things and experiences were raising a very decent amount of money, but the total would be revealed just at the end, so we started to guess how much it would be.
In the States this kind of auction isn’t as successful as here
Tony Hawk explained to me.
People feel free not to bid and I was once at a gala with a famous tennis player who offered a lesson with him. They started at 20,000 $ and nobody would raise a hand, they went down to 10,000 and still nobody would bid. He got so annoyed that he stormed out of the room and said: no class from me!
I guess in Switzerland things are different because of the sheer size of the country: people know each other and, when they decide to join an auction, feel it’s fun to participate actively and even compete with each other.
There was a part of the evening I really liked. A good looking young man from Afghanistan played the guitar and accompanied some words telling the stories of three young refugees. It was done with such a grace and simplicity, and yet the beautiful faces and stories were very powerful. He explained that he never went to guitar class, he was self-taught. The melody started. For a moment, the whole audience went very quiet. Everybody saw their sons and daughters, or brothers and sisters, in these people. I guess we almost felt a bit stupid for sitting there surrounded by luxury. When I see such bright youth, I am grateful and believe we have a great future. Yes, I am optimistic and see of people – of any age, and also very young – to admire. That’s why I like the Laureus projects so much.
Beat the Goal
Our goal was to raise one million
Milica and Bianca, two young women of the Laureus team who are organising the whole event explained to me toward the end of the evening. Is everybody involved in Laureus young, good looking and bright? I wondered while they were chatting.
Finally dessert and espresso were served, it was time to see the result. I had a feeling we had reached the goal, but I wasn’t quite sure. All the Laureus ambassadors lined up and prepared to shoot golden confetti in the air. Martin Wittwer, the Laureus CEO, and Fabian Cancellara, its President, held a huge cardboard check and turned it to the audience to reveal the number. CHF 1,146, 451 – Switzerland did it big again. Some meaningful projects lie ahead!
The Foundation is currently working with 23’000 children and adolescents. The work is based on offering different sport activities and events in order to help those who have disadvantages.
In what was are the children and adolescents disadvantaged?
- Difficult social and/or economic family circumstances
- Physical, psychological or mental disabilities
- Abuse or other trauma
What exactly is the power of sport?
- Sport instils self-confidence, a sense of individual responsibility and social competence
- Sport helps young people to stay healthy, both physically and psychologically
- The primary focus is on exercise, personal development and integration
- Social-pedagogical support instils a feeling of self-esteem and a sense of community