As of 2022, DASSY is a proud sponsor of Athletes for Hope, the non-profit association of sports phenomenon Marc Herremans. Athletes for Hope organises therapy sessions for children with disabilities, and it all comes about through the coaching of young athletes.
Fifteen young hopefuls from 4 different sports disciplines are going all out to turn in their very best sports performance. If they win, Athletes for Hope will get a special bonus thanks to its sponsors Lotto, Stanley, AVEVE, Garmin, DL, etc., and now including DASSY! Going forward, the 6-person kit team for the cyclo-crossers will be dressed head to toe in DASSY.
185 Coaching Center
Triathlete and motivational speaker Marc Herremans started the 185 Team back in 2008. One of only 3 athletes to join the scheme at the time was triathlete Marten Van Riel, who now competes at world level. Today, the 185 Coaching Center is a total concept with currently 15 young athletes competing in triathlon, BMX and cyclo-cross, supported by coaches and trainers as well as specialists, such as a sports dietitian, an osteopath, physiotherapist and psychological coach. The centre is now working on developing talent to contest medals at the Olympic Games as well as at National, European and World Championship level, plus Ironman competitions. Their efforts have been rewarded with success, with 7 medals in 2021 in both development and elite competitions.
For every National Championship they win, Athletes for Hope get to scratch one box - that is € 10,000 - off a scratchcard or picture. Once all the boxes have been scratched off the scratchcard and the whole picture appears, a budget is released for a new medical project such as a sports camp, the Rehabilitation meadow, gait training robot, and more. Each of these represents new opportunities to counteract complications, stand upright and perhaps even to take their own steps again.
Athletes for Hope opened the Rehab Meadow in the autumn of 2021 – a farm activity centre for all children needing physical or psychological rehabilitation. The Rehab Meadow provides an oasis of peace, where the power of nature and the company of the ponies has a healing effect on body and mind.
Gait training robot, sports camp and walking rehabilitation
Young athletes get all sorts of opportunities to develop a healthy lifestyle. But not everyone has such good fortune. Children with a spinal cord injury or muscular disorder have to do exercises every day to counteract the side effects of sitting or lying still for prolonged periods. These side effects include muscle shortening, pressure sores, thrombosis, nerve pain, and many others.
If the body is not able to move, it will deteriorate. This is more true than ever for a growing child. Athletes for Hope is working on both short- and long-term solutions to address these issues. The To Walk Again project offers as wide a range as possible of different sports camps and walking rehabilitation. That way, everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life. They recently celebrated the purchase of a gait training robot. Each one of these are inspiring initiatives that DASSY wholeheartedly believes in.