Doubled and prolonged
Sport has the power to change a life, and the traditional Laureus event that takes place in winter, in Zurich, has been so successful in raising funds for children and young people in need that its team decided to do also a Summer version of it, in Engelberg, the Sport for Good weekend. Now this initiative has been so fruitful, that it will happen it every year, and even one day longer.
Sport with the champions
The very special thing of the Laureus Sport for Good weekend is the possibility to spend time while doing sports with the champions. Of course, you can also decide to simply enjoy the mountains and the Kempinski hotel, but spending three days with Swiss gold medallists, world champions and record holding athletes is a unique opportunity to get to know them, have a glimpse on their personalities and mental attitude, be inspired, have fun while doing sport, and of course have dinner with them during the spectacular gala evening.
The sport program this year included:
- Paragliding with Andri Ragettli
- Mountain Bike with Fabian Cancellara
- Golf tournament with Baschi, Beni Huggel and Conny Kissling
- Mountain tour with Stephan Siegrist
- Hike on the Titlis with Denise Biellmann
- Wellness with Sarah Van Berkel
- E-mountain bike with Gian Simmen
Yoga, smoothies, pool and tabata
I admit: more than the sport, I chose the person, because I wanted to be either with Marcel Hug or with Sarah Van Berkel. So I was delighted to see that Sarah’s program was the most relaxing one – she headed the Wellness group and I chose it. We started with a course with the hotel’s executive chef, Michéle Müller, on how to make smoothies – we were supposed to compete against another team, but at the end everybody was having fun and simply drinking everything. Then we went for a yoga class and I happened to be in the mat near Sarah, so I could see her movements very well. Hey, her muscles didn’t shake one second and her balance was out of this world. For someone who doesn’t even do yoga, she was amazing. But it makes sense: a champion is a champion…damn, why aren’t we all like that?
After the yoga class I had a short swim at the pool and then got ready for the gala evening. The day after we exercised in the garden with Conny Kissling, who is also a Tabata teacher, and I still feel all my muscles aching: wasn’t this supposed to be easy?
The highlight of the weekend was, of course, the dinner. Finally all sport champions were in the same place with us. Dress code was white or light colors. The grand ballroom was splendidly decorated with plants, flowers and lamplights, so the atmosphere was elegant but fresh and cozy. Rainer Maria Saltzgeber moderated the evening and directed the auction – he’s always funny and pitching people against each other. I was lucky because, by total chance, I happened to be sitting near a lot of active bidders. Normally, during an auction, I hear numbers and try to scan the room very quickly to check who’s raising his/her hand. But this time almost all the hands were near me! Auctions are always a very special moment, where champions offer some of their prizes or objects, and guests compete to buy them while also donating. Marco Odermatt’s skis were the most desired item and sold for CHF 18,000.
Laureus Switzerland started in 2006. The Foundation is 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