«This is what it must feel like to be an Olympic participant in the Olympic village,» says Sunrise employee Patrick Kramer during breakfast as he gathers his strength for the 60-kilometer bike ride through the canton of Aargau. It really does: A diverse international troupe gathered at the Aarau racecourse to take part in the «Big Ride» charity event. The idyllic location right by the Aare is transformed into a kind of festival site for three days; with a tented village, lounge, bars, DJs, food stalls – and many parking areas for bikes. Because the bikes play a major role here.
The Big Ride is a tradition for Sunrise’s new parent company – Liberty Global. Even the CEO rides along. This was the first staging of the event in Switzerland – and Sunrise was also the main sponsor for the first time. Around 200 Sunrise employees signed up to raise money with their bikes. The Big Ride is like a charity race, whereby Sunrise gives the employees two days for the event and sponsors their rides or runs. There is a choice of three performance categories for the bicycle routes: The black route is the longest route at 140 kilometers, while the shortest is the blue route at 60 kilometers. In addition, the second day features a half marathon and a full marathon.
Applause and medals – even for the slower ones
Those riding on the blue route are waiting at the starting line, they are the last ones to ride off. They are focused less on the race, and more on the enjoyment of participating. In the pouring rain, they break up into groups of around 20 people and cycle for a good cause. The ride passes picturesque villages, distinctive castles and fortresses, uphill and downhill, along the lush Aare and over bridges – and is a personal challenge for most of the entrants.
The Big Ride 2022 – figures
500: The total number of tents erected at the Aarau racecourse
540:The total number of people who participated in the event
160'000: The total number of kilometers covered
1,512,420: The total amount of donations in CHF raised
At the finish line, Ellie Cook from Street Child, who organized this event, greets them with applause and medals. «It makes me incredibly proud to see so many people at the starting line wearing their Street Child jerseys and supporting our work with their great performance,» says Ellie. Fundraising in the form of corporate and other events enables the organization to operate in 20 crisis-ridden sub-Saharan countries and in Asia, and to give children access to education. Since its founding in 2008, Street Child has already built 362 schools with over 2,000 classrooms. In addition, Street Child offers humanitarian aid, currently in Ukraine, for example. Thanks to the Big Ride 2022 and the commitment of Sunrise, the success story continues.