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Project Play to Commence

FIS, Right To Play and Pat Burgener join forces with the Embassy of Switzerland, Lebanese Ski Association, Mzaar Ski Resort, Swiss-Ski and the Republic of Snowboarding to bring disadvantaged children in Lebanon to the snow.

Oberhofen, 12 February 2020 - Since 2009 over 7’000 events and actions have taken place under the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) campaign Bring Children to the Snow. The FIS has provided a number of support features including onsite materials, financial assistance, planning services and official recognition to help these events and actions take place. But the time has now come for FIS to stage its own Bring Children to the Snow event.

To execute the event, FIS will be teaming up with professional snowboarder Pat Burgener and children’s charity Right To Play. Born in Switzerland to a Swiss father and Lebanese mother, Pat is a dual World Championship halfpipe snowboard medallist, he represented Switzerland at the Pyeongchang (KOR) Winter Olympic Games and is a Right to Play Ambassador. Right To Play is a global charity organization that protects, educates and empowers children to rise above adversity. The charity works with children living in some of the most difficult contexts, supporting them to stay in school, to resist exploitation, to prevent disease and to heal from war and abuse. “We empower disadvantaged children in Lebanon through Right To Play programs to believe in themselves and in their capacity of driving change into their lives. Through different forms of play in safe playgrounds we support them to discover new things and develop life skills like self-confidence, peaceful communication, respect for others, and inclusion. The Play project with FIS is a perfect fit.” said Philipp Zimmermann of Right To Play Switzerland.

Set to take place in March 2020, FIS, Pat and Right To Play will bring 30 children growing up in Lebanon with various difficult backgrounds to Mzaar Ski Resort for a day of snow sports and other activities. “Our goal with this event is to give these children an escape from the difficult lives they live.” said Bring Children to the Snow Coordinator Andrew Cholinski. Pat Burgener added “I am honoured to be part of a project which allows me to share my passion with children who grow in a social environment that is far from what we know and can imagine in Switzerland. It is my way to give back to those who need it the most.”

The project has already garnered a number of supporters who will assist the event in different areas. These include Mzaar Ski Resort, The Lebanese Ski Association, The Swiss Ski Association and the Embassy of Switzerland in Lebanon. Swiss Ambassador to Lebanon Ms. Monika Schmutz Kirgöz added “I am extremely happy to be part of this event, a prime symbol of what Switzerland represents. A beautiful initiative, which falls within the priorities of the Embassy of Switzerland in Lebanon and takes people’s minds off the dire economic situation and current political challenges of the country. While combining youth, sports, education and environment, it empowers children of different milieus, encouraging them to focus on a healthy lifestyle and harmonious coexistence.”

But the event is not the only component of the Project Play. In cooperation with renowned Swiss filmmaker Etienne Claret a documentary of the event and on the impact play can have on children’s lives will be released. The film will premiere in October 2020 in Zurich.

For more information on Project Play visit: https://www.righttoplay.ch/de-ch/national-offices/national-office-switzerland/mitmachen/play-film-premiere/

For more information on FIS , Pat Burgener or Right To Play click here:


For more information on the Embassy of Switzerland, Lebanese Ski Association, Mzaar Ski Resort, Swiss-Ski and the Republic of Snowboarding click on the links here: