07-02-2020 - News
In 2010, global sports management company OC Sport launched into the outdoor sports world following a merger with Swiss outdoor specialists Thirdpole. It was a merger that would prove to be hugely successful, positioning OC Sport as a world leader in the organisation of outdoor events. Co-founder and Outdoor Events Director at OC Sport, Benjamin Chandelier has been instrumental since day one, steering the company on a path that now sees it hold an impressive portfolio of events across cycling, running and triathlon and help people to fulfill their goals and lead a better life through the power of sport.
From a base in Switzerland along the Geneva Lake, OC Sport has earned a strong-hold in Geneva and beyond. Most recently, the company won a tender from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to manage their Walk the Talk: The Health for all Challenge in Geneva, a partnership Chandelier says is a great recognition of OC Sport’s success in the region as the premier outdoor events organizer.
“For OC Sport, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Walk the Talk: The Health for all Challenge Walk/Run will bring together all our mass participation events expertise. We’ll be delivering everything from logistics to operations and race-related activities to ensure the success of the event for both the organisation and all the participants, who will be taking on the challenge on May 17, 2020,” Chandelier explained.
WHO has an important and inspiring vision, centered around ‘a world in which all people attain the highest level of health and wellbeing.’ Their mission is to promote health, save lives and serve the vulnerable and they ‘are committed to increasing access to essential, life-saving services and interventions for 1 billion more people by 2023.’
As part of the Walk the Talk: The Health for all Challenge, WHO have set out three main objectives:
1) To raise awareness around issues related to global public health;
2) To raise awareness around non-communicable diseases like heart disease and hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cancers, and conditions that impact a person’s health and well-being;
3) To encourage people to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle that reduces the risk of unnecessary illness or premature death from diseases that are preventable.
OC Sport was built on a similar philosophy, believing in the power of sport to help people fulfill themselves and lead a better life. It’s not the first time the company has partnered with an organization who shares the same ambitions, and Chandelier points to the success of the Harmony Geneva Marathon for UNICEF in raising awareness and promoting an active and healthy lifestyle. “We are proud of our long-term relationship and history with UNICEF as we work towards helping communities in different countries through the race. The race was awarded the Association of International Marathon and Distance Races (AIMS) Social Award in 2019. This award recognises races working towards achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, including no poverty, good health, quality education and climate action. We look forward to continuing to work hard to make a difference in this area.”
Since 2010 OC Sport co-organised the Harmony Geneva Marathon for UNICEF, and over the last 10 years they have taken participation from 3,000 to 18,000 runners. The team are currently preparing for another unforgettable year of the Marathon in May 2020, one week before the World Health Organisation Walk the Talk event, which will mark the start of another busy summer of outdoor events for the OC Sport Swiss office. As Chandelier explains, OC Sport’s experience in managing events like the Harmony Geneva Marathon for UNICEF has allowed them to establish strong local connections and networks around the Geneva Lake: “We are confident that we can provide a unique and unforgettable experience for all participants of the WHO: Walk the Talk event. In past events we have closed roads so athletes can have the best possible running experience and created unique courses, including a recent example of running inside the United Nations Park and an event village in the beautiful Jardin Anglais.”
“We also have a database of over 3,000 volunteers. They are all fantastic and bring so much energy to our events. Just like the athletes taking part in our events, the volunteers keep coming back year after year, which is a testament to the atmosphere, experience and loyalty of everyone involved.”
Chandelier is the first to highlight the commitment and expertise of his team. “I see employees continue to go from strength to strength as they build on their expertise in event management and push the boundaries to create unique sporting experiences. They understand the events and what makes for a great sporting experience because they are driven by a genuine passion for sport and the outdoors. I believe it’s these shared interests with our participants and sponsors that really sets us apart. I am incredibly proud of everything we have achieved in outdoor events so far and look forward to seeing what we will achieve together in 2020 and beyond.”
What else are the team currently working on? “We have lots of events lined up again this year, from La Tour Geneva Triathlon, French Riviera Marathon (Nice-Cannes), the 20km Geneva by Genève Aeroport race and a series of Haute Route events and UTMB events around Europe and beyond. Last year was also the inaugural edition of Run Mate – a 200km relay-race around the magnificent Lake Geneva. This really was an event with a difference, with lots of exciting out-of-race challenges and an electric atmosphere throughout the two days. The first year was a huge success so we cannot wait to welcome runners back for the second edition on the 26-27 September.
For more information on OC Sport’s outdoor events visit the portfolio section of our website.