Interview with local Swiss Olympic Athlete – Lea Sprunger, plus new Semi-Marathon for la Côte area!

Living in Nyon is delighted to publish this article written by Rachel Frei Bandieri. Rachel is a performance coach and sports trainer and and earlier this year she interviewed local resident and Swiss Olympic athlete Lea Sprunger. Lea lives in the pretty village of Gingins above Nyon and back  in 2012 she competed in the Summer Olympics in London in the women’s 200 metres event and the 4 X 100 metres relay.

Lea is also in the process of organising a new 21 k semi-marathon race on Sunday 14th September 2014. This race will start in Allaman and will partly follow the la Côte lake shore. This is an exciting new race for runners with an aim of 2,500 participants for the first edition. Read on to discover what it was like to perform in the London Olympics, how Lea stays focussed at such a big event, more details of the new la Côte semi-marathon and how you can volunteer (even if you are not a runner) and to find out a bit about the author of this article.

Lea Sprunger

Photo above -Lea Sprunger – courtesy of the athlete
Lea Sprunger  – On the Right Track by Rachel Frei Bandieri

2014 promises to be an exciting year for the now famous track athlete and Gingins resident Lea Sprunger: with her participation in the European Championships in Zurich in August and the organisation of a brand new semi-marathon in September. Lea Sprunger, soon to turn 24, is on all fronts. After competing in the 2012 Olympics in London in the women’s 200 metres event and the 4x100m relay, she is now training for her 2014 objective: the European Championships that take place this year in Switzerland. And after her amazing 1st rank in the Swiss Championship, she definitely is on the right track! One can feel her excitement about the event just mentioning it! When I met her, she had just returned from a three-week training course in South Africa and she looked really fresh and in fine form. “Training is now  quite different from what I was used to when I was still competing in heptathlon. In a way, it is a little “boring”. Hopefully, my coach understands that and he lets me vary, like putting the shot, from time to time” she explained.

Those Summer 2012 Olympics  – “A Magic Experience!”

Lea chose the 200m sprint over the heptathlon when she was in the selection for the Olympics. “I really wanted to be selected and I knew I had too many weak points in heptathlon to have a proper chance”. After the Olympic gold medal of the British athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill,  most readers probably know what heptathlon is made of…but just in case: Heptathlon is a track and field combined events contest made up of seven events, 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 metres, long jump, javelin throw and 800 metres. Unlike her elder sister Ellen, who is still competing in heptathlon, Lea is now concentrating on 200 metres and the 4x100m relay with the team made up of her sister Ellen, Maris Lavanchy and Mujinga Kambundji. When asked about the Olympics, she beams: “a magic experience!” She remembers when she went in the stadium for the first time to watch her sister, she nearly cried: “the atmosphere was incredible! The stadium was completely full; everyone in the UK knows about heptathlon and was supporting Ennis. It was really big! Even if stadiums are impressive, she does not feel tooo much pressure when she is about to run. “I am quite good at staying focussed once I am on the track. In London, I told myself that it was just a little bit bigger this time..!”.

Training in Nyon

She also mentioned that having her sister around helps a lot; it is reassuring to know that a member of the family is there with her Lea who trained in Nyon for many years and is still a member of the COVA (Centre Ouest Vaudois Athlétissme), now mostly trains in Aigle and Macolin in winter and in Lausanne in summer. Things are not made easy for Swiss athletes as there is no place or centre entirely dedicated to athletics, like the INSEP in Paris/France; for instance, there are no recovery facilities where she trains, which means more time spent on the road than ideal. However Lea is not complaining. She is among the 10 athletes that are supported by the World Class Potentials program of the Swiss Athletics Federation, which means that all her expenses in relation to training are paid by the fund. It is more difficult she says when it comes to individual sponsorship, and most of her sponsors come from the athletics world. She also works 30% for an event company and this is where the link to “her” semi-marathon shows up: “Actually, my employer is my coach”, she explains, “and he wanted me to set up a project in my area.”

This is how the Semi-Marathon de la Côte race was born. She admits not being an endurance runner herself but she truly admires people who run such events. I wanted to organise a sport event that would be accessible for all and that could also be used as a reference time for competitors. That is why we chose the semi-marathon distance rather than a mere 20km” It was important to her that the arrival be in the Colovray stadium, where she trained for all these years. The departure will be in Allaman, at the Outlet centre, exactly 21.0975 km (13.1094 mi) away from Nyon. The route will mostly use the stunning “route du lac” with a special part in Rolle where it will follow the lake shore. So if you ever dreamt of running on the quays in Rolle, don’t miss out!

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Photo above  The Quayside in Rolle.  On the route of the new Semi-Marathon

To competitors and personal best lovers: the race promises to be really fast  and taking place just five weeks before the Lausanne marathon, it makes it an ideal training race! The date is on Sunday 14 September 2014, with departures from 10.30 am. There will also be a special running event for kids organised in Colovray with starting time around 09:00

Volunteers Needed A note to those interested: Lea and the organisation team are looking for some 120 volunteers to help during the event. So if you do not feel like running but would none the less like to be part of this joyful and festive event, do not hesitate and join the volunteers’ team! Lea also mentioned that sports clubs and associations who will volunteer will be paid for their contribution, a nice way to support local sports!

Targeting some 2’500 runners for the 1st edition, the Semi de La Côte wants to become a reference race by the next few years and aims at attracting 5’000 runners by 2017. Informations and registrations: On the Datasport website from April on, or on the Semi de la Côte website which will be launched in April. Link to follow.

Good luck to Lea for this fantastic new event!

The author Rachel Frei Bandieri Rachel is a performance coach and sports trainer, specialised in physical and mental training. Her holistic approach (that is, considering the person as a whole, having a global view) helps her make the difference in her work with a various range of people: from the elite athlete to the leisure hiker who want to improve their performances or take part in a specific competition or event. She also works with students or managers who want to achieve a specific goal, in sport, at work or in their personal life.

Running_photo_Rachel - For LIN

  Depending on the goal and the expectations of the clients, Rachel uses sport activities, mental preparation techniques or a combination of both. “I just love my job!, she says. It is really enriching and fascinating to work with amazing people”. Contact Rachel: trail(at)rfbconcept.ch – 079 689 90 26 you can also read on her own website  about some of the amazing trail running and endurance events she has done herself. She is also part of Les Locales, an association that gathers local businesses from the villages above 500 metres.  There will be a specific article here on Les Locales soon. Website: www.leslocales.ch

Watch English Movies in Open Air Cinema, Go on a Ride with Nyon’s Pirates, Dine in White on L’Ile de La Harpe and more

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Open Air Cinema in Nyon until 25th August- Some films in English!

The open air cinema has set up its screen until the 25th of August at the Promenade d’Italie. The following films will be shown in English:

Wednesday 14th 21:00: Wolverine 3D

Friday 16th, 21:00: RED 2

Sunday 18th,21:00 : Star Trek, Into Darkness 3D

Check the whole programme and book tickets here.

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Mid-summer festival” in St-Cergue, Saturday 17th August

A tradition apparently dating back to the 1930’s, this day of festivities gives the cowherds a break from the alpages as everybody gathers in the village for bovine beauty contests, pig races and “toupin” (ie the huge cow bells) ringing. There will also be alphorn and rides in horse-drawn carts. The event takes place all day, in the middle of the village. Check the programme out here.

African Folk Music in Nyon, Sunday 18th August

The Compagnie Yankadiy will perform traditional and contemporary music and dances from Burkina Faso, in traditional dress. This takes place at the Esplanade des Marroniers from 11:00 to 13:30.

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Barrel Organ Festival and Boat Parade in Rolle, Sunday 18th August

25 organists along the lakeside will turn the handle of their barrel organ for the pleasure of all, from 10:00. There will also be animations for children and a “Limonaire”, a huge and complex barrel organ (you can see a picture of one here). From 11:00, there will be a “canot” (small motor or rowing boat) parade. The day ends with a free concert in the Castle courtyard at 17:00

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Dinner in White on the Ile de la Harpe in Rolle, Friday 23rd August

Initiated by bunch of friend in Paris in 1998, the “Diner en Blanc” is a concept where people meet up in an unknown but picturesque location, all dressed in white, with their own food and drinks to share a meal. This has now spread across the world, with more than 10 thousand participating in Paris and other cities, including Rolle. The next edition will take place on the Ile de la Harpe, just outside Rolle. This is a great way to meet new people in an exciting way and beautiful surroundings. Transport to the island is organised from the Casino. Inscriptions and more information here. momes

Kids’ Saturday, Nyon Saturday 24th August

Organised by the SIC- the commerce and industry association of the area, different events in the town centre, to have some fun before term starts.

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Fêtes des Pirates” in Nyon, 24th and 25th August

The Nyon pirates organise two days of festivities, tying in with the traditional flea market that takes place every last weekend of the month. Free tours aboard the “Nyolue”, their boat, “Pirate Village” and different animations are organised. Eat fresh fera from the lake and meet Nyon’s very own Pirates!

Country and Rockabilly music with Rocky Sandona, Nyon Sunday 25th August

This band of accomplished musicians will take you back to the 50s with their music inspired by Johny Cash, Elvis Presley etc… From 11:00 to 13:30 at L’Esplanade des Marroniers

“Living along Lac Léman” book is now for sale! – The perfect gift for everyone.

Tuesday evening in Nyon saw the official launch of  the book “Living along Lac Léman”. Thankyou so much to all those who came to the Villa Thomas at the COV for the vernissage/launch.

Photos above. Happy book fans!

The venue in the stunning lake side setting made it the perfect place to launch the book. It also gave readers of this site,  La Côte newspaper, and other members of the public a chance to mingle and enjoy a glass of local Swiss wine, along with tasting some British cheeese from the British Cheese Centre of Switzerland. 

Photo above: the Villa Thomas along the lake side. Note – there will be a jazz concert at the Villa Thomas on Friday 7th Oct see COV for here for full details

There were also representatives at the event from the various local festivals (Paléo, Caribana, Visions du Réel etc),  from Nyon town council and Nyon tourism giving those there the opportunity to find out more about the three festivals and local issues.

Photo above – Checking out the book at the vernissage

About the book –  The perfect company gift, birthday or Christmas present.

Packed with columns articles and photos the book is is a light hearted look at life along the shores of lake Geneva and contains a selection of columns which have been published for the last two years in English every Friday in La Côte newspaper.  This weekly column is a conversation is about the people, places and events in Vaud as seen through the eyes of a British expatriate.

Photo above: left C. Nelson-Pollard author of “Living along Lac Léman”, right Contessa Pinon – editor of La Côte newspaper

With observations on unusual Swiss customs and on the peculiarities to be found in both the French and English languages, it also comments on other subjects such as the jargon that estate agents use when advertising houses for sale, the difficulties of making a fondue, or trying to say a telephone number in French.

Image above – article from book called  “Figuring it out”

With other articles on local festivals, the Désalpe and more, and packed with photos that capture the colour and essence of the Léman region, the book makes a perfect gift for someone who has just moved to the area. It  will also delight those who have lived here for a while, whether expat of Swiss, in recognising  the slightly side quirky side of Swiss life whilst acknowledging the beauty of the Léman area.

Image below – Article from book called “A saisir!” (on estate agents’ jargon)

At just 29 CHF, the book is available to order through this site, just click on “Living in Nyon” book on the top side bar to order.  Free delivery in the Nyon, Coppet, Rolle and Prangins area.  

From  Tuesday 11th October, the book will also be for sale at Nyon tourist office  Opening hours  Monday-Friday 08:30 -12:30/ 13:30 -17:30

Special book signing – The author will be signing copies of the book at Nyon tourist office on Friday November 4th from 16:00- 18:00.  An ideal opportunity to pick up a copy and find out about events and winter activities happening in the Nyon and St Cergue region.

Photo above and below – Selling the books left to right. Anna Hiller Bedlington, Suzy Nelson-Pollard, Nicola Bedlington.

All photos of the vernissage –  Catherine Lewis photography see site here

Music concerts in Château courtyard this weekend/ Photos from 1st August

 

Each July and August, the “Association Pleine Lune” (full moon” association) organises musical concerts in the lovely courtyard setting of  Nyon’s château. These concerts include performances of classic works, with new interpretations and new musical arrangements. This weekend there are three evenings on the agenda in the company of flautist, composer, arranger and musician Julien Monti.

 Friday August 5  20:30

“Bach in the East,” Cantata 35 by JS Bach for solo viola with oriental colours, plus a string quartet and the voice of mezzo-soprano Brigitte Ravenel.

Saturday – August 6  20:30

Rendezvous with Claude Thébert”. Accompanied by improvisations from Julien Monti.

Sunday – August 7  18:00

Ethno-Jazz Trio and a surprise guest. Julien Monti flute, Alain Tissot drums, Olivier Nussbaum bass and electric bass

Thank you to the following readers who sent in their photos of the 1st August. The banner photo in this post is of a solitary Alphorn player in Oeschinensee above Kandersteg in the German speaking part of Switzerland.  This was sent in by Diccon Bewes, author of the very popular book Swiss Watching. Check out his blog here.

Photo below of children at a 1st August ceremony in Nyon, with soldiers in traditional dress and muskets! Photo sent in by Trish Thalman.

Photos below – August 1st ceremony in Rolle by Catherine Nelson-Pollard

Swiss National Day celebrations across the area

Monday 1st August is Swiss National Day, and it will be celebrated right across the area tomorrow. Time to get out the bunting and the flags! For more details of the ceremonies and events planned where you live, either check the website of your local tourist office, take a look at your village noticeboard or last Friday’s edition of La Côte newspaper. Below are the details of the celebrations planned for Nyon and Rolle.  Happy Swiss National Day!

Do you want to know the history of Swiss National Day? See the Wikipedia entry here. It’s interesting to read that the biggest Swiss National Day celebrations that are held outside this country are held in Manhattan in New York!  Swiss Info also provides some interesting information as to where and how the country’s politicians are going to be celebrating tomorrow.  My Switzerland.com also carries information of the 1st August celebrations across the country in English here.   For other non Aug 1st events happening in Switzerland click on the “In any Event” link on this site on the right hand side bar.

If you want to know more about the Swiss themselves and disocover more about this wonderful country, then do check out the excellent informative (and humorous book) called  “Swiss Watching” by Diccon Bewes.  This book was named as one of the “best books of 2010″ by the Financial Times.  Details here   

Finally, if you will be celebrating the 1st August tomorrow and you happen to take a good photo of the day whether it is of the people, food, ceremonies, or the fireworks, why not send Living in Nyon a photo and we will post the best photos on this site this week? Just email your photo to cnp at bluewin.ch  

Nyon –  1st August

Venue – Esplanade des Marroniers (by the Roman Columns). In the case of rain, this will be held in the Salle Communale.

19:45  – Apéritif  offered by the town of Nyon with the Fanfare (brassband) municipale

20:20 –  Ringing of bells

20:25  – Presentation of official  flags

20:30 – Official ceremony. Reading of  the 1291 pact. Patriotic prayer. Allocution by Mr André Borschberg co founder of the Solar Impulse. Message from the pastor of Nyon churches.

The ceremony then moves down to the place des Fête de Rive with the local population following. Children follow carrying paper lanterns.  

Down at the Fete de Rive from 16:00 onwards there will be a buvette and food and jazz from 19:00.

22:15 – Firework display over the lake.  01:00 End of the celebrations!

Rolle

Venue – Castle courtyard

18:30 – Official ceremony by the castle courtyard.

19:00 – Apéritif offered by the commune.

19:00  – Food, grillades, raclette, pâtisserie, crêpes.

21:30 –  Release of balloons

22:00  – Défilé nautique

22:30 – Fireworks and fire on the lake!

23:00 –  Free dancing!