The chance to speak with Usain Bolt capped off the first Pho3nix Future camp, a week-long camp for high performing junior athletes from across Europe which took place in Lausanne, Switzerland from the 6th-12th of September.
Organised by sport nonprofit Pho3nix Foundation, The Pho3nix Future camp was hosted by four-time world champion triathlete Chris McCormack alongside Sebastian Kulczyk, business leader and founder of the Pho3nix Foundation. Olympic medalists John Steffensen and Nicola Spirig, two-time speed climbing world champion Aleksandra Miroslaw, and snowboarding freeride world champion Emilien Badoux served as co-hosts and mentors alongside renowned captains of business including executive strategist & HR consultant Konrad Stanoch, sports marketing agency founder Sean O’Reilly, and public relations practitioner and reputation manager Jakub Zajdel.
It was an unprecedented opportunity for these young athletes to access valuable insight into what it takes to be a professional athlete and achieve success in their chosen field, with highlights including a visit to the Olympic Museum, sport climbing, and a teams-based active challenge at City Game Lausanne. These activities and workshops aimed to hone a high performance mindset, including the ability to work under pressure, goal-orientedness, a good attitude toward winning, and problem-solving skills. The camp also upskilled participants with sessions on traditional and social media training, sponsorship, anti-doping, and working with sport federations.
Bolt offered precious words of advice for them. “You have to learn from your mistakes and always be open to criticism. That’s how you learn. Watch the greats; you’re going to fail at times but you have to learn from that to make you better, make you stronger.”
The athletes returned home with renewed purpose. Czech Under-16 national record holder for the 200-meter hurdles Tereza Babicka plans to study architecture while continuing to train in athletics, reports her mother Dana Jelenova. “She came back full of energy, self-confidence and new optimism. It is a big challenge, especially how to connect sport and studies. However, your camp showed her that if you really want something, go after it.”
The Pho3nix Future camp also marked the launch of the larger Pho3nix Future Program, which aims to equip young athletes with the skills, knowledge, and personal development needed to flourish in a professional sports career and beyond.
“They truly are the future; paying it forward and investing in them is crucial as they emerge as the next leaders and build their own legacy,” says Kulczyk. “This camp is just one piece of Pho3nix Foundation’s aim to promote and support sport at every level and inspire generations to rise to their potential and pursue their dreams.”
Pho3nix Future joins Pho3nix Foundation’s other flagship programs that each fall under the Participation, Progression, Performance pathway. The Pho3nix Kids program motivates and inspires children to participate in physical activity; the Pho3nix Athlete Program aims to support athletes looking to qualify for an Olympic Games; and the Pho3nix Elite program (which includes the Pho3nix Team and Sub7Sub8) supports and promotes athletes reaching for the pinnacle of their sports careers.