Friends of Laureus
In the cookies of life, friends are like chocolate chips. And how cool would it be to make friends with some of the people you most admire in sport?
I’ve just spent a weekend in the mountains called Sport For Good, at the fabulous Kempinski Hotel in Engelberg, organised for the Friends of Laureus. To give you an idea of what we did, I can tell you that during the gala dinner I sat on a table with twelve Gold Olympic Medals. Ok…it was a long table! But how often do you have such a chance?
During the day, we could choose different programs to do sport with the champions (golfing, biking, climbing, hiking, doing gymnastic etc), or we could simply spend time alone or with them eating, chatting and relaxing. In the evening, everybody dressed in white and arrived at the most amazing garden themed location. Hundreds of plants, lamps, candles and flowers made the Kempinski ballroom look like a romantic park. There, we attended a gala to raise money for another Laureus initiative, Fit4Future. Good food, music and various guests entertained us during dinner. Then the auction started. Ski stars Dominique and Michelle Gisin offered a skiing and flying weekend and were so good at changing languages depending on the people in the audience, adding goodies and offers, and motivating bidders, that they raised double of what they were initially hoping for.
What The Champions Do
Normally, the champions and Laureus ambassadors do these activities with children: they meet them to do sport, spend some time together, tell them their personal stories of how they achieved their goals, motivate them and inspire them by moving and playing. Sport for Good is the motto, and Laureus supports more than 10’000 children in Switzerland every year in seven social sports projects. Imagine biking with Fabian Cancellara or running with Mujinga Kambundji! All children, regardless of origin, social class, health restrictions etc are integrated and motivated to reach a self-determined life. The focus is not on performance, but on the joy of sport and of the shared experience. During the Laureus weekend, this was done with us grown ups too. We really got to know the work of Laureus, while enjoying ourselves as well. We then went home with a head full of beautiful images and impressions, and the motivation to move a bit more.
Make New Friends, But Keep The Old; Those Are Silver, These Are Gold
Some more details about the advantages of becoming a Friend of Laureus: the events are an incredible occasion for networking – CEOs, entrepreneurs and other Swiss personalities spend some relaxing time with you, which is also an interesting part of the initiative. Donations receipts are given for tax deduction. The keynote speeches are extraordinarily inspiring. Joining costs CHF 1’000 and can be renewed annually. But above all, attending such events shows you the value of movement, nature, physical activities and human connection. For me, this weekend was a moment of personal growth.
There’s a proverb saying:
Make new friends, but keep the old; those are silver, these are gold
For sure there was a lot of silver and gold at the Laureus evening! I will never forget Marcel Hug showing us one of his six gold medals and talking about what it means for him. I went home with some food for thought and many precious moments. But above all, with a renewed faith in the goodness of human nature.