Ambre Team Participates in the Ciel Solidarity Trail
October 22 2019
October 22 2019
The five popular luxury hotels in the Sun Resorts portfolio are known for their excellent hospitality, gorgeous locations along some of the finest beaches in the world, excellent dining outlets, unparalleled experiences and the huge array of activities on offer. Created to bring guests equal opportunities for relaxation and excitement, these stunning hotels each boast a specific flair, ensuring that every type of traveller can find their ‘ideal’ island resort, and have the time of their lives once there.
Underpinning the deep desire to create exceptional holidays for their guests, Sun Resorts and all of the group’s employees, have a set of principles they hold dear, which includes excellence, integrity, trust, passion and teamwork and they share a desire to do good in the world—they endeavour to leave the world a better place than when they found it.
It’s this very thinking that led to the creation of SUNCARE; a non-profit organisation to encompass all of Sun Resorts’ initiatives, be it around community engagement, things relating to the environment, or sustainable business values.
This shared vision to impact the world positively permeates all levels of the company, and inspired a team at Ambre to get involved with a special initiative that took place in September 2019; The Ciel Solidarity Trail, an initiative that forms part of the Ciel Ferney Trail race. During the Ciel Solidarity Trail, a group of volunteers (in this case our very own team from Ambre) carries a disabled child in a “Joëlette” along a special route. A “Joëlette” is an all-terrain, one-wheeled chair, that enables someone with a disability or reduced mobility to partake in running activities or hiking excursions, and this year the Ambre team carried Kurish, a 7-year-old boy who suffers from muscular dystrophy.
To find out more about how this incredible experience went, we chatted to Viren Govinda Chetty, the General Manager of Ambre, who was responsible for gathering the team which was made up of Ambre’s Heads of Departments. This is what he shared with us:
Why is this initiative important to you?
I love going running and doing trails—it’s such a freeing experience and allows me to connect with nature. It’s really awesome. And, because I love it so much, it was important for me to be able to help a child, who is not physically able to go running or explore trails himself, to have and enjoy this experience.
Why did you decide to partake in the event with your team?
I wanted to have a bonding experience with my team by making a kid’s dream come true—it’s definitely a special team-building exercise! It gave us the opportunity to navigate our strengths and weaknesses as a team, train and strategise together regarding how to carry the “joelette” for the entire trail, on peaks, down hills and on rugged terrain.
We also decided to do it together because we all wanted to contribute to a good cause.
Over and above these reasons, I also wanted to show my team that it does not matter how old we are, we can achieve anything we set our minds to.
What was your favourite moment of the experience?
There were so many! One of the best moments, however, was when we were heading towards the most challenging climb of the trail, towards the peak. There was a special synergy, where all the physically strong team members were leading and helping from the front, those who were struggling a little bit were in the middle, and all of us were working together to help the weaker ones up the peak. It was a show of incredible team spirit; we were using our strengths to overcome our weaknesses together so we could achieve something really special.
Finishing was also really emotional—we had completed this incredible, albeit challenging, experience and people were clapping for us and congratulating us. It was amazing. Some team members even held hands to help each other finish—these are people who don’t usually interact with each other on a day-to-day basis, but at that moment they came together to help each other. It was really powerful.
As a captain, what were some of the challenges you experienced during the race?
The biggest challenge the team faced was probably a bit of a lack of confidence in their abilities. Some had physical weaknesses, others thought they were too old to do it and many of them had never done a trail like this before. Consider the fact that the oldest person we had on our team was Rajen, who is 65. So we had a war cry to motivate us: no pain, no gain!
How would you describe the experience?
In a nutshell: many ups and downs and obstacles along the way. But it was also powerful and amazing.
What kind of training did you do in preparation for this trail?
We trained every day for a month as a team by walking, running, taking yoga classes and swimming. So much work for a trail like this takes place behind the scenes, with lots of coaching and counselling. We had a training plan with rules and regulations, and if someone couldn’t come to a training session, they had to pay a fine.
We are now using the fine money, and other money we are raising as employees of Ambre, to fly Kurish to Rodrigues so that he can do the Rodrigues trail, which he was invited to participate in by a Rodriguan, who was also a part of the Ciel Solidarity Trail.
Who were your team members and how did you encourage them to join you?
My team was made up of all the different Heads of Departments at Ambre:
I gained their trust. We had a strategy in place to start together and finish together. I told them that it was not a competition. That we should shoot for the moon, even if we miss it because at least we will land among the stars.
I wanted them to know that even if they did not trust their physical abilities, with the proper training, I would make sure they would get to the finish line. I made sure that were all on the same page with the trail, that we had a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve, and that we would always stop together and move together, and if we fall again or something, that we would start again together. As a captain, I wanted them to know I would keep us together and get us to the end.
How did your team do?
They did really well, I was very proud of them. They all gave the best of themselves! And I think they did the best they could despite their concerns! We had a vision: to make Kurish’s dream a reality and we did so together. It was a wonderful bonding exercise for us.
Can you give us a bit more information about the trail— how long was it, what exactly was involved, how long did it take you etc.?
The trail spans 10 km and it took us approximately 2.5 hours to complete it. It’s actually a really challenging trail, it’s very rugged and hilly and some areas don’t allow many people to go through at once.
Do you think it’s something you will do again?
Yes, definitely. To prove this, we’ve even kept up with our training schedule.
What was Kurish’s reaction to the experience? Did he enjoy it?
Ah, it was incredible. It was literally a dream come true for him. He’s really shy so he didn’t talk much, but he was very happy the whole time. We could basically feel his happiness and emotion and you can see him smiling in all the photos.
What will you remember the most from the day?
I think the experience as a whole. As a team, we did a hilly 10 km while carrying Kurish and then, to top that off, we fed 4000 people together. Ambre sponsored the food for the runners and volunteers who were a part of the event. The menu consisted of rice, lentils and Mauritian rougail sausage. Preparing this dish for 4000 people required a looooooot of ingredients, and to have it all ready, we had to enlist employees, who don’t usually work in the kitchen, to help peel onions and garlic, which was not an easy task.
Ambre’s chef, who did the race with us, wanted to be with his team when feeding these 4000 people so it took a bit of convincing to have him with us and eventually, we came to a compromise. We agreed that after the race, we would check in on the catering team, especially because the chef was worried they would be overwhelmed.
When we arrived we saw that they were doing really well, even without the chef, and were ahead of schedule: the chef had trained them well. It was also impressive to see that all the hard work of peeling onions and garlic and chopping ingredients came together on D-day—I absolutely love these moments, when everything comes together, and it was definitely one of the things I will remember the most from the day. I have an incredible team!
Eager to meet the sensational team at Ambre for yourself and see what spectacular things they do at this unique four-star hotel? Then book your memorable stay in paradise today.