How did you get into the program? How are the ambassadors selected?

The selection procedure is held each year and anybody can sign up. Adecco will then select one ambassador from each country. I had to fill out a candidate application where you list the sporting activities you do or used to do and hand in a short motivation letter stating the reasons why you want to be part of the project. When I learned that I got in, I was so excited, but the excitement disappeared quickly when I realized what I got myself into.

Were you into sports before the race? What kind of sports did you do?

I have always enjoyed sports and it was one of the reasons for signing up for Win4Youth. I used to play hockey and football recreationally and I spend my winters on a snowboard.

How did you prepare for the race?

In the beginning, there was a preparatory camp in Belgium where I learned what exactly is awaiting me and I also met the other ambassadors. After my return, I had four months to prepare. I had a coach assigned who was monitoring my progress using various apps and sports watch. The app was telling me how many kilometers I am supposed to swim, run or bike at any given day. I was in contact with the coach during my preparation and he pointed out my strengths as well as areas I should focus on.

Did you want to give up at any point? Was there a moment when you felt you reached the bottom?

I definitely did not want to give up. I was getting rather tired of the training towards the end; it was the same thing over and over again and I wanted to be done with it already. Looking back, I realize that I could not have done it without the preparation. During the race, I tried to keep my mind busy so the race would pass by more quickly. The biggest crisis came in the last part of the race with only five kilometers to go. I was so close that I could not give up.

How was the race itself and where was it held?

The race took place in Barcelona. We got there three days earlier and went through the final preparations and got tested for physical readiness. We mainly tried swimming as it is a different thing to swim in the sea than in a swimming pool. On the day of the race, we got up at four in the morning, had breakfast and a bus took us to the location. The race commenced at seven in the morning with swimming in the sea with a lot of jellyfish around. None of us was expecting that and despite having a wetsuit, I still had to deal with a couple of nasty stings. Then I had to bike forty kilometers on a flat terrain which was the best part of the triathlon. The race was concluded with a 10-km run. This was the toughest part since noon was already approaching and it began to be unbearably hot.

How did you do in the race?

There were sixty of us at the start and I came fifteenth. However, the entire event was not about your time or in which place you finish. The most important thing for me was the experience. To know that I was able to handle something like that and get to the end. And of course, it was a great feeling to know we were helping the ones in need.

How would you describe the organization of the entire event?

The organization was excellent. From the very beginning of the program, I felt like a professional athlete. The overall organization was very professional from beginning to end and I was pleasantly surprised. We had amazing coach working with us on both the physical and psychological aspects.

Is there a moment or situation related to Win4Youth which will stay engraved in your memory?

My greatest experience was meeting the Olympic winner Fabian Cancellara [famous Swiss cyclist --Ed.]. He accompanied us for the entire duration of the preparation as well the race in which he then participated. He gave me a few tips on the cycling part of the triathlon and it was nice to chat with someone like him about everyday things.

What is your attitude to sports now?

The triathlon grew on me and I attended four races in Slovakia and the Czech Republic in 2018. I have also concluded the Half Ironman race in the center of Prague where I had to cover distances twice as long than in Win4Youth. Next year, if everything falls into place, I would like to participate in the entire Ironman race.

You have tweaked the program a bit in the Czech Republic and you contribute to local foundations. Can you tell us more about that?

We cooperate with the Tereza Maxová Foundation and for each kilometer we run or bike we donate two Czech crowns to help children from children’s homes. In 2017, we ran up one hundred thousand Czech crowns.

Are you still participating in Win4Youth?

I handed the imaginary baton to my colleague Petr Douda who is the 2018 ambassador. I talked to him about the progress of my preparation and the particulars about the race. I gave him a few tips and I can say for sure that it will be a smooth race for Petr. Otherwise, we get together for a run from time to time with my colleagues from other branches.


Take a look at the story of the Adecco sports enthusiasts and find out about the unexpected experience you can receive at work!