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Every year DSV Jumps into the canals of Copenhagen – and they are proud of it
At Danish Swimming Federation, we are experiencing a growing interest from companies that want to participate in the Trygfonden Copenhagen Swim as a company activity. “It strengthens the team spirit and gives good energy – at the event as well as in the daily life at the office” says Jens Bjørn Andersen, CEO of DSV.
By Maja Lorentzen, communications consultant, Danish Swimming Federation. Photo: Jesper Westley
Have you ever seen Copenhagen from the canals? From the water surface? They have at DSV. Every year employees from Jutland, Zealand and Sweden participate in the Trygfonden Copenhagen Swim. Here they swim in the canals of Copenhagen that surround the Parliament, Christiansborg. This is an important event for both management and employees. For example, they have a team that plans and coordinates group training for all participants leading up to the event.
“The shared experiences – both leading up to and during the Trygfonden Copenhagen Swim – strengthens the feeling of solidarity and community. Participants get to know colleagues across departments and offices with whom they have no contact on a daily basis” says Jens Bjørn Andersen.
They are among a list of companies that year after year jump into the canals, and you can be sure to find both bigger and smaller companies. This year the focus on attracting new companies to the event is even bigger than before. Therefore, the event now runs over two days.
“We really want to open the eyes of several companies, so that they know that different groups of employees can participate and that everyone can join in – the same way that many companies participate in the DHL relay race in Copenhagen. This year it is possible to leave the office together on Friday and be a part of the event in the afternoon or in the evening” says Caroline Kleemann, development advisor at Danish Swimming Federation.
Are you considering participating with your colleagues? Read more about the distances here.
Participating strengthens the collegial bond
DSV is normally providing different services by sea, landside and in the air and they aim to support the healthy environment in the many Danish harbours. This is one of the reasons they have chosen to be a sponsor of the Trygfonden Copenhagen Swim, where they are partly responsible of the logistics during the event.
“Trygfonden Copenhagen Swim is a unique event – in which other world capital is it possible to jump right into the canals and swim around in the city centre? Clean waters and a healthy harbour environment are some of the things that we need to uphold. Therefore, we are a part of the event as both sponsors and participants – and that is something our employees are proud of” explains Jens Bjørn Andersen.
It is not only big companies as DSV that have the opportunity to participate, and it is not at all a requirement that the companies are also sponsors. All companies can join in regardless the number of employees and amount of experience with open water swimming.
“Participation is one’s own responsibility, but we have installed lifeguards and Samaritans in boats or on SUP-boards as well as volunteers overlooking the entire route. The safety is a high priority so that everyone can feel safe” says Caroline Kleemann, development advisor at Danish Swimming Federation.
A day filled with pride, happiness and hygge
When the day of the Trygfonden Copenhagen Swim is finally here, and the employees of DSV are preparing themselves to jump into the canals, the sponsor tent is always filled with good vibrations - at least if you ask Jens Bjørn Andersen that often also participates.
“The ambiance is always very good among swimmers and the many colleagues and family members that come to support. A lot of our employees have participated for many years but there are always some debutants too” Says Jens Bjørn Andersen and continues:
“Some have no experience with open water swimming and so it can be a bit of an undertaking. Making it all the way through, in sometimes chilly water, is not something you just do. That is one of the reasons why it is amazing to see their proud and happy faces after the accomplishment.”
After the swim around the parliament, swimmers, colleagues, and family members eat together in the tent. All swimmers of the Trygfonden Copenhagen Swim get a participant’s medal by Danish Swimming Federation. Nevertheless, DSV has arranged an award ceremony of their own.
“We have an internal competition, so when everybody has finished, we have arranged prizes for the fastest male and female. We also have a prize for an employee, who did not necessarily swim fast, but instead put in an extra effort to be able to finish the race – usually, it’s a blast” says Jens Bjørn Andersen.
Get started with open water swimming
If you are curious and have become eager to participate in the Trygfonden Copenhagen Swim, it’s a good idea to practice swimming in open water in advance. We always recommend that you swim with at least one other person, and there are several options to that.
From the 1st of May, many open water activities open all over the Denmark. There are also some coastal swimming clubs with open water teams - find more info and events on www.openwater.dk
Remember that even if you are an experienced swimmer, you should never underestimate the open water, and therefore you must never compromise on safety.