In: CIEL Group | September 2019
The 12th edition of the CIEL Ferney Trail attracted a turnout of more than 3,400 people who benefitted from reconnecting with nature. Despite the large crowd of competitors, the event is committed to leaving no trace by eliminating single use products and ensuring effective and educational waste diversion initiatives are part of the program.
Starting from the race pack distribution to the completion prizes, the event organisers worked with various suppliers in the supply chain to find alternative solutions to plastic and disposable products. Plastic wrapping of race bibs and shirts were banned along with plastic cups at refill stations, potentially avoiding up to approximately 10,000 single use cups.
Instead the event generated only 321.1kg of waste – equating to a very low rate of 80 grams per person. From this amount over half (54.8%) was diverted from landfill to be recycled. This equated to 92.1kg of plastic, aluminium, and paper/cardboard and 84kg of glass. Recycle stations were hosted by friendly staff from a waste management enterprise Recyclean, who assisted event patrons to correctly triage their non-recyclables whilst answering any recycling questions.
Participants were awarded a reusable cup made from bamboo as a finishing prize, encouraging them for their involvement and environmental awareness.
Sun Resorts provided all race-goers with a free meal, served of course, on reusable plates and cutlery. In between races, patrons perused and purchased local artisanal products at the Green Market.
The Ferney Trail offered a variety of trails this year including the Sun Kids 4km, Nando’s 10km, Bank One 20km, Allsport 37km) and a new Nando’s 8km Fun Run. The Fun Run brought a family friendly feel and collegial appeal with a creative twist; an award for the Best Dressed individual. One of the winners of the Best Dressed award, Caterina, first visited Ferney La Vallée during protests against a proposed motorway construction through the area which was rejected in 2005 and returned this year to make the most of the Ferney Trail. She commented: ‘ça s’est très bien passé avec un beau soleil et avec des amis. Comme j’ai vu que c’était un fun race, je me suis dit je vais m’amuser… et c’est que j’ai fait, je me suis déguisée et je me suis amusée !’
Fun and participation was indeed had by all. Working once again in close partnership with Inclusion Mauritius, approximately 80 young individuals living with an intellectual or physical disability participated – with four times as many young participants than the previous year. The Ambre Hotel management team amongst a group of 20 volunteers, showed their support for young people and inclusive sports opportunities, by running alongside young participant Kurish, carrying him and his Joëlette for the 10km trail. Runner and volunteer Najaah reflected: ‘I’ve been participating since 2015. This year I’m carrying the Joëlette again for a little boy named Kurish. I hope we’re able to help him to enjoy the view and have a nice experience on the 10km trail… My favourite thing about the Ferney Trail is the closeness to nature, the environment and nice ‘ambiance’. Everybody is very motivated, even if we come alone it’s OK because you meet people and have a great time.” CIEL Ferney Trail offered a sum of MUR150,000 to Inclusion Mauritius to support their work in employment training, screening, and advocacy programs for people living with an intellectual and/or physical disability. Equally, MUR150,000 was donated to La Vallée de Ferney Conservation Trust to support vital conservation work at Ferney La Valley, for the benefit of our environment.
The Ferney Trail encourages inclusive sports participation and provides an opportunity to enjoy the richness of Mauritian biodiversity, providing valuable rewards for our health, wellbeing, community and connection with nature. Ferney La Vallée now has permanent trails of 5km, 13km and 20km and mountain biking tracks open seasonally for the public to enjoy.