UEFA Women’s Under 17 Championship in Nyon – Tuesday 25 – Belgium v Poland and Spain v Sweden. Final on Friday 28

UI7 photos

Footballing stars present at Nyon championship this week.   The UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship semi-finals will take place on Tuesday 25 June, with Belgium v Poland kicking off at 12.00, and Spain v Sweden starting at 14.30 at the Colovray stadium in Nyon.  Free entry

The third-place play-off kicks off at 12.00 on Friday 28 June, followed by the final itself at 14.30. Friday’s matches will be shown on Eurosport. It’s a great opportunity to see Europe’s top young women players in action and to meet football legends such as Patrick Müller, Stéphane Chapuisat and Grégory Coupet.  The achievements of these under 17 women teams who reach the semi-final stage highlights the growing strength of women’s football. All the referees at the matches are women.

Stephane Chapuisat

Photo in header – Fans at the 2012 final. Photo above – Stéphane Chapuisat  tournament ambassador the  UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship.  Chapuisat was capped 103 times by Switzerland and was a UEFA Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund.  All photos courtesy UEFA

The start of a summer of women’s football – Women’s Euro final in Sweden in July 

The Under-17 tournament signals the start of a summer of women’s football which culminates with  the Women’s EURO 2013 in Sweden in July. Colovray Stadium gives the players the opportunity to compete against other European teams. It is also the last time that the tournament will take place at Colovray, as from next year, it will be hosted by different national associations in turn. To mark the occasion, UEFA is preparing something special! For more details see the UEFA website

Schools taking part

On each of the two match days, UEFA is giving local schools the opportunity to take part in fringe activities such as skills sessions with the stars and visits to UEFA. The public can take part free of charge in quizzes, attend autograph sessions with the tournament ambassadors and enjoy free refreshments. On Tuesday 25 June, a DJ from Rouge FM, an official sponsor of the event, as well as some budding DJs, will mix live from the stadium. Then on Friday 28 June, it will be the turn of youngsters from the Nyon creative arts association (ADAC) to take centre stage.

Spain celebrate

Photo above – Spain celebrate after a match: Photo courtesy UEFA

Tournament ambassador Patrick Müller says “Youth football forms the basis of the development of girls’ and women’s football. We hope that this tournament will attract a lot of people and that it will encourage girls and women to get involved in the game”.

Belgium coach

Photo above – Belgium coach Joëlle Piron: Photo courtesy UEFA

Sweden Head coach

Sweden Coach – Yvonne Ekroth:Photo courtesy UEFA

Patrick Müller, former defender of class and finesse who made 81 appearances for Switzerland currently works for UEFA in its commercial operations unit. He has the pleasure of coaching  the UEFA’s women’s team. A great supporter and ambassador of the UEFA European Women’s Under17 Championship, he will be present on both match days to help run the different activities and promote women’s football.

The public will have the opportunity to meet Grégory Coupet at Colovray on Tuesday 25 June. Grégory Coupet, former France goalkeeper, is also the seven-time winner of the French Ligue 1 championship with Olympique Lyonnais. He also played for Club Atlético de Madrid and finished his playing career with Paris Saint-Germain FC.



Interview with Tony Lerch, director of Caribana – Giving a warm welcome to musicians and music lovers

On Wednesday 5th June, the lake side around Crans près Céligny will be rocking to the sound of Motor Head and Skunk Anansie, two of the headline acts playing on the first night at the 2013 Caribana festival.

skunk_anansie 1

Photo above: Skunk Anansie  – courtesy Caribana Festival

This festival first began 23 years ago when a group of friends headed by Tony Lerch  (now director of the festival) organised a small  musical event at the port of Crans. That first free event  focussed on tropical and Caribbean music, since then the festival has evolved into one of the festivals in Swiss Romandie playing a variety of genres of music from rock, to reggae, folk, indie soul, grunge, blues and more.

Living in Nyon spoke to Tony Lerch  to find out how the festival manages to attract the major names in the rock and pop industry to play at the lake side venue.

Caribana Festival 2010Nyon / Switzerland09.06.2010Photo Alain Grosclaude

 Photo above: Tony Lerch – Director of Caribana Music Festival

A “Welcome Programme”  from sailing to wine tasting – A mini-holiday for the artistes

“Having a stunning setting helps. It’s pretty special, the artists love it. We also give them the opportunity to discover more of the area before they go on stage.  The bands and singers receive a “Welcome Programme” when they arrive here with a list of activities available to them. We offer a sailing trip on the lake, that in itself is beautiful. We sail past some interesting sights on the way, we point out the UEFA building, Michael Schumacher’s house, the Chateau of Prangins, Ernesto Bertorelli’s house (the 2003 America’s Cup winner). Not only is a boat trip impressive but with the backdrop of the Alps and Mont Blanc behind them, it’s a pretty cool way to warm up the artists before they go on stage! If they don’t want to go sailing, they are given the option of cycling or walking in the vineyards with a chance to visit a local wine cellar. The only thing we ask them not to do is to participate in any risky sports, or swim too long in the lake and catch cold. We want them to stay safe be in good shape to play on the stage that night.

Bike day, lake pics and inaug of Niedermeyer 025

 Jim Kerr and filets de perche

I think the artists love it, it’s a sort of mini-holiday for them because although it’s a big named festival, it still remains very intimate. They can walk along the side of the lake and mix with the public if they want to. There was an occasion a few years ago when Jim Kerr of “Simple Minds” chose not to eat at the artiste’s restaurant but to wander down to the port and have “filets de perches” there. Brian Ferry came back to visit and ate at a restaurant that he remembered when he played here.

Caribana 2011 Ist night Crowd

Photo above: First night at Caribana 2011 – C. Nelson-Pollard

Having said that our very position right next to the lake means that it’s not that easy for the roadies. We have a bizarre shaped ground for a festival, and it’s not ideal for shifting stuff around. In addition it’s a very narrow path to carry gear down from the trucks to the stage, and the roadies have to carry and transport everything by hand. These days most rock festivals have automatic loading equipment. Some of the bands comment on this and say it’s like playing at rock festival from many years ago. Although it obviously makes it tricky for logistical purposes, it also add to the atmosphere, everyone lends a hand to get the show on stage.

Imagine Dragons to play – Robbie Williams, the one that got away.

In addition to the setting, word of mouth helps to attract some of the big named bands: they hear about its reputation and want to come along. We are proud that we often identify bands at the start of their career just before they take off and we manage to book them early on. We are really pleased that  “Imagine Dragons” are playing with us on Saturday night this year – they have recently become a huge hit.  There have been musicians that we identified and we booked early on that became so massive in the following months they simply became too expensive for us to take. A case in point is Robbie Williams, we booked him in October 1997 for the following year’s Caribana. He then released  “Angels” which went on to become massive, his album skyrocketed and he was in great demand. We could no longer afford him which was a great shame.  It was the same kind of story with “The Corrs”.

Having said that, there have been quite a few names who have played here first as a relatively unknown on one of the smaller stages and they went on to  do bigger things, such as Faceless, Charlie Winston, and Nelly Furtado who we did book early on in their careers. The bands and artists on the smaller stages here at Caribana are always definitely worth going to see – they too may go on to greater success and you will have had the chance to see them close up at Caribana.

32,000 spectators in 2010

As to Tony Lerch’s own favourite type of music? “Well it’s no secret  that I am a big fan of  The Police, and I really like reggae, but I’m interested in all kinds of music. We have had some great nights with big and small artists over the past 20 or so years. We peaked at 32,000 spectators back in 2010 and since then have levelled out at around 30,000. The financial crisis has affected us and other festivals a bit, tickets aren’t selling as fast as they used to. All festival organisers are finding times as bit tougher. I think there are many, many festivals over Switzerland over the summer so competition is keen between us all, but conversely this means it’s good for the general public. They get to have a big choice of where they can go and spend their money.   I am glad they are still choosing Caribana!

Caribana 3rd night 2011 Plan B 3

Photo above: Caribana 2012  – C. Nelson-Pollard

Volunteers welcome!

Like many festivals in Switzerland, Caribana depends on the good will and enthusiasm of its volunteers on site and on the committee which works throughout the year  to help run such a big event. “There isn’t anyone on the committee who is paid to do the job including me – we all do it for the love of the festival. We value our volunteers enormously, it’s getting a little bit harder to take on young volunteers between the ages of 16 and 18 due to new laws that have been implemented in Switzerland, but if anyone is interested in volunteering on site here, even if their French isn’t that great, we will happily consider them for a future festival.

Putting the area on the map

Back when we first started the festival, very few people used to know about the grounds that we use here at Caribana, just  the local residents – now we have really put it on  the map. We also keep evolving: this year the Sunday is for teenagers, with “Caribateens” . We saw that other towns were offering events for teenagers but there wasn’t much in this area, so we came up with the idea of a day dedicated to them.  This year we have other changes on the grounds for the public: there will be steps down onto the beachside, and there’s more. We look  forward to another good year and thankfully the weather is  now improving and looking very promising for another great festival.

At the time of publishing there were still tickets available for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (Saturday is sold out). Click here for more info. if you are not able to go, Living in Nyon will be reporting from the festival each day, on the bands, the new changes on the site, the atmosphere, and of course, the music!

Caribana 2012 dancing festival goers

 Photo above: Party Time at Caribana 2012 – C. Nelson-Pollard

“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

Patrick Müller to attend Women’s Under-17 Championship in Nyon


Readers may have seen purple flags that have sprung up on lamp posts along the lake road, and around the town. These flags are promoting the 2010/11 UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Football Championship. The competition begins on the 28th July and ends with the final on the 31st and will be held at Colovray in Nyon. The four qualified teams in the final are France, Germany, Iceland and Spain. It promises to be an exciting final as the continent’s most talented young female players descend on Nyon!

This year the ambassador of the final tournament is former Swiss national team player Patrick Müller. His former clubs include Servette FC Genève, Grasshoppers Club, Olympique Lyonnais and AS Monaco. He will be present at the final on Sunday. For more info see the UEFA site here

 The match schedule for the final round is as follows:

 Thursday 28 July

Semi-final 1: Iceland v Spain (at 14.00)   Semi-final 2: Germany v France (at 18.00)

 Sunday 31 July  Third- place play-off (at 14.00)  Final (at 18.00)  Eurosport 2 will broadcast the two semi-finals and the final live.

Behind the scenes of UEFA in Nyon

There couldn’t be a greater contrast between the noise and frenzied excitement of a football match, to the calm and peaceful atmosphere within the walls of the UEFA building here in Nyon. In a long sleek building, an interior that is all light and glass, with smooth wooden and marble floors all in clean lines and all overlooking Montblanc and the lakeside, it seems hard to imagine how any work is ever done within the hallowed walls.

Surely it would be tempting to spend all day staring at the view or simply listening to the lake’s waters lapping around the shores of the building.

Yet despite the tantalising view, behind the quiet facade lies a huge working busy organisation: UEFA -The Union of European Football Associations. With 236,000 clubs, 329,000 referees and 1,600 games all to be looked after, there’s a lot to be managed and supervised and decisions to be made on all things football related. Home to approximately 243 employees, half of them Swiss, (the other half 24+ different nationalities), they all come to work in what must be one of the most stunning settings to earn a daily living.

Yesterday a guided tour of the building was given by Mr Jean-Paul Turrian (UEFA presidential advisor) to a group of interested individuals who had come via the Université Populaire (more on this association below). After a brief introduction to the reception area, the group was led to the auditorium where Mr Turrian welcomed the group on behalf of Michel Platini (the current president of UEFA).

Mr Jean-Paul Turrian

Then came a presentation beginning with the history of how the association came to be in Nyon in the first place, (after starting in Paris then onto Berne then a lot of to-ing and fro-ing between Zurich and Geneva) a decision was made to create a permanent European headquarters. Nyon close to transport links, and other Swiss and European cities, was chosen as an ideal place to house the headquarters.

A beautiful building for the beautiful game

A competition was then launched to design the building, and here we saw the buildings that didn’t make it, one of them two towering skyscrapers, the other a hideous, heavy shape, a far cry from the design that won. The present building (10 years old this week) is laid out on three levels, a structure that doesn’t dominate the skyline but makes the most of the surrounding gorgeous scenery. The structure is designed so that are there are no pillars blocking out the light on each level, the aim of the design is to symbolise transparence. “We have nothing to hide here”.

After a brief explanation of the organigram of UEFA along came various statistics along with details on how UEFA is funded, television rights, the income that these bring along with ticket sales, hospitality packages and other sources of revenue. Apart from the top matches and well known cups such as the Champions League, and the UEFA Europa League there are others that don’t always get as much publicity (see site for full listing). UEFA also encourages football at grassroots level and helps in developing countries in Eastern Europe and Africa this was followed by a short film on its support of football in the special Olympics.

Within the building employees work across many departments, from those that deal with the harmonisation of match calendars, to those that work with the school of referees to the department dealing with anti-doping issues in football. There there’s the section for female football matches (female football is becoming increasingly popular each year). The media department has over 30 employees alone working on alternative media and the UEFA internet site is even translated into Japanese as that country has many followers of European football.

After the stats, fact and figures, the group were then shown a short film on the funny side of football: the goals missed by a mile, the fox running on to a pitch during a match, players attempting to play in mud and torrential rain, crying fans, tearful players, exasperated managers, players who didn’t follow the fair play rule, players kissing other players in jubilation, balls accidentally hitting members of the crowd and one where the ref kicked the ball backwards. The film, shown in the large auditorium in the base of the building is an area is also used for those all important live match draws and can be linked up to satellite coverage within minutes.

The auditorium

After a short question and answer session, the tour then continued around the building via the staff restaurant (with a menu more akin to Michelin than motorway station).

The court room where decisions are made if there is a dispute or incident in a match or if a team “was robbed”.

The group were then led on to the roof where they were then shown the progress of the work on the second UEFA building (called La Clairière) which is being constructed on the other side of the road, access will be through an interconnecting underground walk way.

This building is due to be completed by 26th March 2010 and the keys officially handed over at 11:00 on that day. The construction firm will pay a penalty clause and be fined if there is any delay to the date.

The new building continues with the same theme of light and transparence and has a design that takes environmental concerns into consideration. The windows will keep the building cool in summer, yet retain heat in winter. This circular building has also been planned to make the most of the view and the nature surrounding it.

Other plans – This old house below (also an Uefa property) will be turned into an International Football museum.

UEFA reception

The tour ended where it began, in reception amongst all the European football trophies that are displayed within glass cases, including the coveted Euro Cup. Trophies that all footballers want to hold aloft one day and all fans want to see their team or country win.

Some of us I fear will be waiting a long time (your Living in Nyon correspondent is English)….

Further info.

Université Populaire organises various tours and courses throughout the year such as an introduction to the history of music to storytelling. Courses are in French.

From the UEFA website
*UEFA is a representative democracy, comprised of 53 national football associations, and is itself recognised by FIFA as one of six continental federations. The organisation of the administration of football is based on a pyramid system of regulations, with FIFA the world governing body, UEFA the European governing body and national football associations the governing bodies at domestic level.

Want to know more? The UEFA website has a frequently asked questions section.