10 June 2005
"The idea behind the Swisscom Games is to promote team spirit and competitive zeal among employees, and strengthen their sense of identity with the company," explains Swisscom CEO Jens Alder, on whose initiative the Games were organised. The Group-wide event underpins the important role the company plays in supporting football and winter sports as well as sports infrastructures and major events. The aim is to leave a lasting impression both inside and outside the company. Talented young athletes will benefit from the proceeds of a raffle in aid of Swiss Sports Aid. And Magglingen, the venue for the Games, is more than a symbolic choice." The excellent cooperation with the Federal Office for Sport shows that our decision about the venue was absolutely spot-on," emphasises Swisscom's CEO.
Comprehensive infrastructure with giant marquee
Preparations for this major event have been under way for the past three weeks: A huge marquee has been erected (the largest ever set up in Switzerland), together with infrastructure to meet the needs of at least 5,000 people. Signs have been posted at the various competition locations, and storage or parking facilities provided for sports equipment. Today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) the catering facilities for participants and visitors will be set up. Information, advice and sports entertainment will be provided by the Games Village, where Swisscom Games partners will be offering their services.
Accommodation is being provided for all of the 3,000 athletes and helpers in the communities of Biel, Grenchen, Lengnau and Saint-Blaise, as well as in athlete accommodation and a tent village in Magglingen. Added to this, between 1,500 and 2,500 spectators, relatives and guests are expected on Saturday. Food and drink for all these visitors will be provided by additional refreshment stands as well as the existing restaurants.
The organisers have collaborated with local fire services, the Biel city police and the cantonal police, who will be on hand to ensure safety and security. Special attention was paid to transport and traffic arrangements ahead of the Games: A shuttle service will ferry participants and visitors between Biel, the various competition venues and locations where overnight accommodation has been provided. Swisscom has qualified for the "Prix Ecosport" and is using local resources as far as possible.
Illustrious guests and sporting VIPs
UN Ambassador for Sport Adolf Ogi and ex-Federal Councillor Ruth Metzler-Arnold will attend the Swisscom Games as honorary guests. In her new function as President of the Swiss Sports Aid Foundation, Ruth Metzler-Arnold will be accepting a cheque from Swisscom to support the foundation's activities. Sporting VIPs such as Silvan Zurbriggen and Simon Ammann are also expected to attend the Swisscom Games. One of the sporting highlights is on Saturday, when a demo chess match is scheduled between Swiss Grand Master Joe Gallagher and the highest Swiss national on the world chess rankings, Yannick Pelletier.
Berne, 10 June 2005