Sport development projects

Major sporting events can have a lasting effect on the development of sport at different levels.

Promotion of Short Track Speed Skating

Large audiences at ice stadiums are electrified by Short Track. Thrilling duels, elegant movements and unpredictable races make Short Track a crowd-puller.

With its long tradition in ice sports, Switzerland boasts a density of skating rinks that is unmatched by other countries. Despite this, Short Track is to date the only winter sport in which a Swiss athlete has never competed at the Olympics. In addition, only around 2% of Switzerland's population report that they regularly take part in ice sports. The Short Track – Swiss Ice Movement project aims to change this.

The Swiss Ice Movement association has set itself the goal of promoting ice sports and, with the discipline of Short Track, of getting an Olympic sport started "from scratch" for the first time in Switzerland.

Starting shot with the Winter Universiade 2021

This unique and innovative development project was launched as part of the legacy of the Winter Universiade 2021 in Lucerne. Plans call for a centre of excellence to be established in the summer of 2022 at OYM in Cham – thanks to the support of the Swiss Ice Skating association, Swiss Olympic, the canton of Zug, Swiss University Sports and other partners.

Elite sport, popular sport and innovation will all be developed to an equal extent at the centre, which will focus on training top-level athletes capable of competing internationally and encouraging the Swiss population to participate more in ice sports. The centre will also use the development project as a driver of innovation and a testing ground for all Swiss sports. A transfer project will offer athletes from other disciplines the opportunity to develop their potential in Short Track and progress to the stage where they can compete at the Olympic level. In addition, plans call for Swiss ice hockey players to also benefit from new expertise and the momentum that Short Track will generate in terms of skating techniques.

Speedy Cup

November 2021 saw the launch of the first Speedy Cup at schools in Central Switzerland. The Speedy Cup is a series of races for children from grades 3 - 6. It aims to make ice-skating fun for youngsters and allow them to directly measure themselves against other kids. The Speedy Cup is a legacy project of the Winter Universiade 2021, which is why it's initially taking place in Central Switzerland. Experience and important knowledge were gained that will enable the establishment of a future Speedy Cup series throughout the country. The qualifiers for Speedy Cup 2021 were held on various dates at the Rigihalle in Küssnacht am Rigi, in the Zingel ice rink in Seewen and at the Bossard Arena in Zug. The grand finale took place at the Regional Ice Center Lucerne on 5 December 2021. Almost 300 children took part in the first staging of the Speedy Cup, a figure that surpassed the expectations of the initiators of this project.

Further details about the Speedy Cup can be found here.

Talent Day - Support and assistance

The cantons of Central Switzerland wish to offer their junior athletes targeted support and assistance. This is why the Talent Day has been introduced as a legacy project of the Winter Universiade.

Some 40 aspiring athletes from Central Switzerland (representing 24 different sports disciplines) met up at the Freiruum leisure centre in Zug on 12 December 2021 to take part in the very first Talent Day. The young athletes, all of whom hold a national Swiss Olympic Talent Card and reside in a canton of Central Switzerland, were informed during the afternoon about the challenges of competitive sport and the support available from the cantons. This was followed in the evening by an event to which one parent was invited in order to ensure that parents would also be aware of the opportunities and services on offer here.

With this proactive information event, the sports authorities of Central Switzerland want to provide up-and-coming athletes and the people around them with optimum support at an early stage on their pathway to the top. Various workshops were staged to raise awareness among the participants and to motivate them to head for success in competitive sport with the help of targeted career planning approaches. The BIZ Careers Advisory and Information Services, which play a key role in terms of career planning, were therefore also involved in the event. The talented young athletes who attended obtained further information and inspiration in discussions with the world-class athletes Nina Brunner, née Betschart (Beach Volleyball), Yannick Zehnder (Ice Hockey, EV Zug) and Patricia Merz (Rowing).

Chances and challenges

During the discussions with the top athletes, parents and guests were also given an insight into daily routines and challenges in the world of professional sport. Markus Kälin, Director of Sports Promotion, canton of Lucerne, had the following to say: "We are delighted that it has been possible to implement this important legacy project despite the cancellation of the Winter Universiade 2021. With this new direct dialogue platform, we hope to strengthen the cantonal networks in competitive sport and ensure the timely provision of transparent information about career planning to our talented youngsters and their parents."