Having worked with Threshold Sports for two years now, when they asked us to join them in France to provide an accommodation village for Richard Branson during the Strive challenge, we jumped at the chance.
Strive is the brainchild of Richard’s son Sam and nephew Noah, who came up with the idea while chatting in the kitchen. It’s a series of extreme physical challenges to bring people together for a common purpose, while raising money for Big Change, a not for profit organisation to drive forward innovative education projects.
Big Change was founded on the question: how can we be the most effective catalyst for positive change for young people in the UK? Big Change takes the best ideas from around the world and adapts them to UK issues.
Alongside the annual June Strive Challenge, this year saw the introduction of the Strive Alpine Challenge, a true endurance challenge set in the south of France.
James, our Operations Manager, flew out to France in the brief hiatus after Glastonbury and before Nozstock for a fleeting five hour pre-site visit to scout out the area. He came back with tales of terrifying mountain switchbacks, weird and wonderful French laws about tent erections and waxing lyrical about the stunning views. We all wanted to go!
Finally, on Thursday 5th September, bright and early, our team of five bell tent and stretch tent guru’s departed HQ ready for the long drive down to Chamonix. A convoy of Zoo-branded transit vans and trucks, towing trailers loaded with kit, set off ready to follow the event participants as they spent five days hiking, swimming, cycling, climbing and paragliding (yes, paragliding!) through the alps.
The spec for the build was eighteen bell tents furnished with our luxury interior package and a stretch tent, complete with disco lights! This was to provide overnight accommodation for Richard Branson himself and his family and friends who were both participating in and supporting the event. Our stretch tent, which we furnished with chairs and tables, deckchairs, beanbags and a fire bowl outside, was used for briefings, catch-ups, and meals provided by private caterers.
As Ops Manager James said ‘if it wasn’t enough to be in a stunning location, putting up tents with Mont Blanc as the back-drop, we also got to meet one of the most inspiring entrepreneurs of all time, as well as supporting a good cause’.
We’ll leave you with the inspiring Strive motto philosophy:
‘’Growth happens when you step out of your comfort zone; magic happens when you do it with others.”