Press

“Swinging is also a school of life.”

By Maria Pinzger
August 1, 2022

Lucerne, August 2022 – Winner of the Bernese Cantonal Wrestling Festival in Thun – anyone presented with this title in the year of the Federal Wrestling and Alpine Festival is one of the favorites. And above all among those who make an impression in the ring and beyond. Adrian Walther is one thing and does another – even with a traditionally designed high-tech wearable on his wrist that he uses for contactless payments. A conversation about the partnership with wearonize, what makes a model athlete, and how important youth development and tradition are in his sport.

Adrian, there is only a short time left until the event in the sport of wrestling, the Eidgenössischen Schwing- und Älplerfest. Do you actually remember which Eidgenössische was your first?

Of course, I will never forget that. It was 2013 in Burgdorf, I was just 12 years old and was a young swinger myself. I was fascinated by the size of this event, the atmosphere at this event and of course the wrestlers, my idols, whom I could be so close to despite their size. That was impressive.
And there was one more thing that fascinated me and still does today at a wrestling festival, no matter whether it is an ESAF or a small wrestling festival in the country: the peaceful atmosphere on the entire grounds and especially at the ring.

How did you personally get into swinging – and what kept you going all these years and now you’re swinging at the top level?

I come from a family of wrestlers, so it was only natural that I should give it a try. Right from the start in training, I was enthusiastic about this duel, which has to be won. But also about the fairness. Wrestling is a sport that is about winning with respect. This is also what motivates me to always give everything in training and to become one of the best wrestlers.

Swinging is pure tradition – is there a tradition in this whole “swinging world” that you personally find the most beautiful?

It’s this family atmosphere at the wrestling festivals, that every guest, no matter what he does and who he is, whether prominent or just from the village, is completely equal. And that’s how everyone treats each other. Everyone is on a first-name basis, everyone is collegial, the ice is broken directly by the first name among the guests and also athletes. This way, great contacts are made, also for us wrestlers! And one makes friendships, which also exist beyond the sport and remain for a long time. I am not just saying this, I know this from myself and also from my family. A tradition that must never change.

Did wearonize also approach you at a swing festival or how did the contact with FinTech come about?

It’s this family atmosphere at the wrestling festivals, that every guest, no matter what he does and who he is, whether prominent or just from the village, is completely equal. And that’s how everyone treats each other. Everyone is on a first-name basis, everyone is collegial, the ice is broken directly by the first name among the guests and also athletes. This way, great contacts are made, also for us wrestlers! And one makes friendships, which also exist beyond the sport and remain for a long time. I am not just saying this, I know this from myself and also from my family. A tradition that must never change.

Speaking of young talent, wearonize is promoting young wrestlers with 2 francs per wearable, which was launched on the occasion of the ESAF 2022 together with BLKB. Is there a need for new approaches like this, or what else is needed to maintain the next generation of wrestlers?

It is also not a matter of course in our sport that young people come along. We have to see that quite clearly and offer attractive offers so that children or young adults start with the sport. We don’t have the media attention that makes it a foregone conclusion. We have to make an effort to attract young people and keep them happy. The fact that a company like wearonize, which comes from a completely different area and living environment of the swingers, focuses on young talent absolutely helps!

But beyond that, it is also important that we continue to preserve the values of the sport of wrestling: Fairness, respect, tradition and sporting commitment. That’s a mix that makes it attractive for every athlete – and it also makes wrestling a really good school of life.

Is wrestling a tradition that will always be “modern”, or do you think that there should also be innovation in the sport itself?
Innovation is viewed very critically in the sport of wrestling, but I think there needs to be a contemporary development in every sport, which also takes into account the development in society. That’s why we also have to look at where we can perhaps move with the times. Without diluting values. I don’t think we need a groundbreaking renewal to keep swinging attractive. But inputs never hurt. Like from wearonize, who present high-tech in wearable in the design of our Schwinger and Älpler tradition. That is modern without abandoning tradition.

Further information about Florian Gnägi: www.floriangnaegi.ch

More information about the wearonize payment wearable on the occasion of the ESAF 2022: www.wearonize.com/esaf/

About wearonize AG:
wearonize is changing the way people pay. Since its founding in 2019, the FinTech has positioned itself as the world’s leading fulfillment-as-a-service partner for banks and manufacturers of (fashion) accessories looking to make payments wearable. wearonize offers software, hardware and logistical services to help banks, manufacturers and event organizers enter the passive payment wearables market without having to invest a lot of time and financial resources themselves. The wearonize team manages the entire process of analysis, development, testing, certification and distribution of passive wearables and payment technology (and other capabilities). In 2020, wearonize became the sole software and services provider of SwatchPAY, and in 2022, wearonize partnered with BKLB to provide passive wearables at the Swiss Federal Wrestling Festival (ESAF 2022). Currently, wearonize is active in more than 25 countries and in cooperation with more than 75 banking institutions. The team around CEO Thorsten Röske currently comprises 17 members at the locations Lucerne, Switzerland, Munich, Germany and Cluj, Romania.

Press contact:
THE MARIA AGENCY
Maria Pinzger & Marlies Hebler
+49-89-45 24 84 80
wearonize@the-maria-agency.com

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