At the Swiss Alpine Club, the waves are still not smoothed. After the surprising dismissal of the successful national coach Urs Stöcker, the affected athletes spoke up. In the criticism is the head of competitive sports, Hanspeter Sigrist. An independent working group of the SAC should provide clarity. Now the athletes are making another appeal to their association.

The situation in competitive sports at the SAC has long been unsatisfactory for many. Not only the athletes concerned, but apparently also other coaches and most of the regional centers responsible for the promotion of young talent are sharply criticized. Hanspeter Sigrist, head of competitive sports Swiss Climbing, is accused of abusing his power and lacking leadership skills. The dismissal of the successful national coach Urs Stoecker 2016 finally brought the cask to overflow (LACRUX reported).

Athletes speak up

The athletes wrote to their association asking for a clarification discussion. One such event took place on February 10, 2017 and gave the athletes hope that the situation would soon change for the better. "We left this conversation in a positive mood and were confident that our concerns would be taken seriously," the athletes said in a statement to LACRUX.

SAC sets working group for clarification

The criticism from the athletes and other people prompted the SAC to take a closer look at the situation. “A working group was immediately convened, which analyzed the situation within Swiss Climbing in detail and submitted a report to the central board,” said Françoise Jaquet, Central President of the SAC, to LACRUX. However, this working group that was set up is criticized for its independence. One of the members was Leo Condrau, former superior of Hanspeter Sigrist. If he were to confirm the criticism of Sigrist, this would be tantamount to self-criticism. According to the daily newspaper, Charles Giroud also had a seat in the working group. A few months ago he accompanied the restructuring of the SAC and would also question his own work if he approved the criticism of Hanspeter Sigrist.

The central board stops at Sigrist

At its meeting on May 15, 2017, the SAC Central Board listened to the result of the working group and made the following decision: “The cooperation with Hanspeter Sigrist, Head of Competitive Sports SAC Swiss Climbing, will be continued with a new competency regulation and the work will be restructured to relieve him. “It is also announced that the National Magnetic Performance Center in Niederwangen (BE) will terminate the contract with the SAC at the end of the year. A spicy detail: The Bern climbing hall Magnet is owned by Sigrist GmbH, i.e. Hanspeter Sigrist. The person at the SAC who is responsible for competitive sport and thus for the training of Swiss athletes, runs the SAC's National Training Center at the same time as their private limited company. In view of the current criticism, the SAC was apparently no longer entirely comfortable.

Disappointment about decision is big

The decision of the SAC to stick to the cooperation with Hanspeter Sigrist leads to complete incomprehension on the part of the athletes. “We are disappointed with this decision and the type of communication. Displeasure, distrust and fear have of course not diminished ”, write the athletes in their statement to LACRUX. "We don't feel that we are being taken seriously, which is why we once again drew attention to our dissatisfaction with the current situation at the World Cup in Villars."

SAC wants to find a solution

When asked about the appeal in Villars, Françoise Jaquet said: “The well-being of the athletes is very important to us. And we are aware that the situation for the athletes is not yet satisfactory and ideal. We are working flat out to find a solution that is right for the athletes so that they can concentrate fully on the sport again. ”It is written in the email binder from Ms. Jaquet, which is automatically added to every message : "Leave everyday life behind you and visit one of the 152 huts of the SAC." Hopefully those responsible for the SAC will not respond to this call. Because it is in the interests of everyone involved, the SAC and the athletes, to create clarity and smooth things over.

Athletes disappointed by the Swiss Alpine Club SAC
The athletes appeal to the Swiss Alpine Club SAC


Behind the public appeal and the statement to LACRUX are the athletes Sascha Lehmann, Kevin Heiniger, Baptiste Ometz, Dimitri Vogt, Beni Blaser, Kevin Huser, Marco Müller, Moritz Waldleben, Obed Hardmeier, Anne-Sophie Koller, Andrea Kümin, Jara Late, Natalie Bärtschi, Rebekka Stotz, Katherine Choong and Sofya Yokoyama.

Credits: Bild zVg, Article Tagesanzeiger (10.05.2017, 24.05.2017), Opinion of the athletes

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