SECO FLAG FLIES HIGH AT WORLD COMPANY GAMES
Seco employees put their best foot forward at the World Company Games in May in France, with 22 athletes competing in four sports. In the 5 km men’s race a bronze medal was secured by Seco France’s Denis Berton. “It was a very proud achievement for me, and I really enjoyed being there with friends and co-workers, representing the company,” he said after his third-place finish.
The World Federation for Company Sports was created in 2014 and gives corporate employees a chance to get together and compete in a spirit of friendship once a year. The events are growing in size all the time. The federation was set up to strengthen human and cultural contacts across national borders through sport, to promote regular physical activity within companies, and to emphasize the recreational and health enhancing character of grassroots sport. “This year there were over 5,000 athletes from companies in 43 countries taking part at the La Baule World Games in France, and Seco was well-represented there,” says Laurent Chene, one of the organizers of the group and a key player on the handball team. “The first World Games were held in Palma de Mallorca in Spain last year, and this event in France was an important step for the development of the games,” Laurent says.
Aside from Denis Berton’s accomplishments on the running track, the Seco employees competed in handball, bowling and bowls, with team members reporting a high standard of competition in the 25 different sports that were featured at the games. Seco has a proud tradition of sport in the company, especially in France. “As part of the framework for the well-being of the employees and to promote sport in society, Seco decided to participate in the European Society Games for the first time in Hamburg, Germany in 2011, then Prague in the Czech Republic in 2013 and Ghenk in Belgium in 2017,” Laurent explains. “We then decided to attend the World Games this year because the event was taking place at La Baule in France.”
All over the world, there are inter-company sports leagues that allow staff to get together and practice their favorite sports while representing their employers. Having fun and being with colleagues is just as important as winning. “Most of these federations’ members are companies that differ in their size, form, and activity. Company sport covers all types of sport and physical activities that can be organized by and within a company,” Laurent explains.
Led by Laurent, Seco’s handball team comprising of Sylvain Bertin, Mathieu Vincent, Antoine Bonenfant, Sebastien Massant, Brice Rignaut, Jérôme Precigout, Loic Parillaud and Denis Berton. They had a tough time coming 14th out of the 16 teams that entered. The Seco bowls teams fared slightly better, progressing through the knockout stages before they were eventually beaten. After this year’s success, Laurent says that he is looking to expand participation at next year’s European event in Salzburg, Austria in June, where Denis Berton hopes to defend the title he won there last year. “We would like to enter teams in soccer, handball, volleyball, badminton, bowling and tennis if we can,” says Laurent Chene.
There are a number of other sports on offer ranging from golf, basketball and sailing to more sedate pursuits like chess and bridge. “The World Company Games really does offer something for everyone, and I would be delighted to hear from anyone who might like to represent the company at the next event,” Laurent concludes.