A little Olympic flair between Bonn and Herzogenaurach … On July 26th, 2012, the second adidas – Nokia Charity Tour 2012 set off from Bonn, Germany. This time, the 55 cyclists from the adidas Group and ‘Radtreff Campus Bonn’ covered the distance between Bonn and Herzogenaurach in only three days.
Why would anyone want to do that in the hottest week of the year? Sport is clearly our passion, and through sports we want to and can support charitable projects. The goal of this second, privately organised racing bike Charity Tour was to raise money for the teaching hospital ‘Uniklinik Erlangen’ to be able to help children from abroad who suffer from heart conditions and to make life-saving operations possible. For me, the starting point was the summer of 2009 when my second daughter was born with a severe cardiac defect. Only an eight-hour operation could save her life.
Ever since this profound experience, I have tried to draw attention to children with heart conditions and to help these children and their families through the foundation that I set up, ‘Lauf-fuer-Kinderherzen’ (‘Run for Children’s Hearts’), and through many other different sports projects.
A successful tour through all conditions
With the fantastic support of several sponsors, amongst others the adidas Group, we set off on Thursday morning bright and early. And this year the tour was really exceptional. In three stages we had to cover 502km with an altitude difference of around 4,000m. Eagerly looking forward to the Olympic Games in London, the mood of the team was excellent, and this altogether helped us to deal with all situations and weather conditions. Whether it was 37 degrees in the shade on Friday, or a thunderstorm, or just 19 degrees on Saturday, we braved all conditions. The tour took us through wonderful regions and across several low mountain ranges, from Siebengebirge via Westerwald, Taunus, Odenwald, Spessart to Steigerwald. For the last leg of the third stage, a further ten colleagues joined the team in Marktheidenfeld and Neustadt/Aisch – for the final sprint.
A privately organised sporting event of this size can only be run smoothly with the help of a large number of volunteers. For example, we were supported along the entire route by six bikers (in this case, I mean motorbikes!) from the Federal Police Force (Bundespolizei). They looked after us tirelessly, ensuring that we could constantly and safely press on with our tour without having to face dangers posed by cars or trucks. Equally involved was our adidas bus, providing us with a safe place of refuge and an escort vehicle whose team took care of any technical problems during the tour. And, just like a proper professional race, we also had a cycling colleague who made sure that the cyclists with a puncture or other problems could rejoin the group as quickly as possible.
Once again this year, I had a huge amount of fun using sport to doing something for charity. Together with my cycling friends and our sponsors, we managed to raise over €6,000. Sometimes, team spirit, a willingness to help and the sheer enjoyment of sports can help us to ‘fly in the face’ of difficulties. Without the helping hands of my comrades-in-arms to ‘blast the tarmac’, I would surely not have been able to carry out the entire project.
An Olympic reception in Herzogenaurach
Of course, a major highlight was our arrival on Saturday at the adidas Headquarters in Herzogenaurach. Here, we were greeted by several thousands of adidas employees and their families celebrating the ‘adidas Olympic Day‘. The perfect backdrop for the finish to a successful racing cycle tour! We could not have imagined a better or more emotional reception. The icing on the cake was, of course, my family, who were waiting for me at the ‘Olympic Day’. They made me instantly forget all the pains and strains of the tour, and in particular my two children made me feel victorious as we entered the World of SportsThe World of Sports (WoSThe World of Sports (WoS) is conceived as a campus. The area covers 39 hectares in the northern part of Herzo Base, a former military base a few miles outside of Herzogenaurach, Germany. It offers truly unique surroundings for the corporate headquarters of the adidas Group. Besides office buildings, it features sports and outdoor areas, state-of-the-art exhibition halls and an award-winning staff restaurant located on the banks of an artificial lake. The newly renovated comb-shaped office buildings house the majority of the Herzogenaurach-based adidas Group employees.) is conceived as a campus. The area covers 39 hectares in the northern part of Herzo Base, a former military base a few miles outside of Herzogenaurach, Germany. It offers truly unique surroundings for the corporate headquarters of the adidas Group. Besides office buildings, it features sports and outdoor areas, state-of-the-art exhibition halls and an award-winning staff restaurant located on the banks of an artificial lake. The newly renovated comb-shaped office buildings house the majority of the Herzogenaurach-based adidas Group employees. (the name of the adidas headquarters). Lots of colleagues applauded as we walked towards the stage, accompanied in proper style by bagpipers, and were received there by Matthias Malessa, our Chief HRHuman Resources (HR), is the organisation within the adidas Group which is responsible for the management of our workforce. Responsibilities include attracting, selecting, training, assessing and rewarding employees as well as fostering a corporate culture of performance, passion, integrity and diversity. Officer. I imagine it’s a similar feeling to being part of one of the processions at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. Fantastic!
Thank you very much to all who support and further my campaign and foundation: