Current talents such as world record-holder David Rudisha and two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell Brown have left their mark at Letzigrund Stadium as well as track-and-field legends like Haile Gebresselassie and Yelena Isinbayeva. Due to its special place on the calendar, <link www.weltklassezuerich.ch - external-link "Opens external link in current window">Weltklasse Zürich</link> generally offers recent world champions or Olympic medal-winners their first chance to get back into the competition. On 3 September some of the winners from the <link www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-championships - external-link "Opens external link in current window">2015 Track-and-Field World Championship in Beijing</link> will come to try to defend their titles.
The Diamond League Meet follows a comprehensive sustainability strategy. Since 2009, Weltklasse Zürich has been a climate-neutral event with myclimate. Benedikt Röcker from Weltklasse Zürich reveals more about the background.
Why does an international premium sporting event place such a strong focus on sustainability?
Weltklasse Zürich has already done a lot in the area of social sustainability, particularly supporting Swiss track-and-field for youth and establishing top-class sporting events. Alongside social sustainability, the goal was and is to increase engagement in the area of ecological sustainability. Even if that sometimes means additional expenses, we are glad to do it because environmental protection affects us all. Major events shouldn’t be exceptions; rather, they should use their position to set a good example and to sensitise the target groups to this issue.
What do you think are the biggest advantages that an engagement with sustainability provides for your event?
There are of course the obvious advantages such as protecting the environment itself or creating a positive image for the relevant target groups. But what’s very important to us as well is the dialogue with our sponsors. In recent years, we've been talking a lot about the issue of sustainability with various sponsors, particularly with our sustainability partners Erdgas and Migros, and we've been developing new ideas. This has not only resulted in positive contributions to sustainability, it has also produced other exciting new ideas.
What value does the cooperation with myclimate have in this effort?
In 2009, we did a comprehensive analysis of sustainability at Weltklasse Zürich. With the help of myclimate, the goal was to analyse what we were already doing and where there is still potential. With these findings, we developed a sustainability concept that we continue to develop and improve on an on-going basis. myclimate's expertise is very valuable to us, which is why we decided at that time to start creating a long-term partnership. Since 2009, we’ve been compensation the non-avoidable CO emissions with climate protection projects by myclimate, which we think is very reasonable.
To turn from the environmental aspects to the stadium: What are the athletic highlights that visitors have to look forward to in 2015?
Once again this year, we have a top-class group of athletes, and there will be many exciting matches. One of the highlights is definitely the men’s high-jump, as many high-level athletes will be participating. As an organisation, we’re of course very glad that our engagement in Swiss youth track-and-field is starting to bear fruits and that there will be many Swiss people in the main programme. The stars are of course Kariem Hussein, Mujinga Kambundji and Selina Büchel. But the next generation is waiting at their marks, and their sensational successes on the international level at youth championships has made us very happy. We hope that in the coming years we’ll have many new talents in the Weltklasse Zürich programme. Swiss track-and-field is alive and well!
There are still a few tickets available for the meet on 3 September. If you don’t want to miss a world-class sporting event in Zurich, click here: <link www.weltklassezuerich.ch - external-link "Opens external link in current window">www.weltklasssezuerich.ch </link>