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Hitting the mark

Claudia Kunz doesn’t let her visual impairment hold her back. Thanks to her hard work in training and the support of PluSport, she is regularly able to take part in international competitions as a markswoman, sometimes even leaving sighted opponents in her wake. How is this possible?

Driven by her love for sport, Claudia Kunz invests countless hours in shooting. In addition to strength training and swimming practice, she spends around ten hours a week on the shooting range and invests time every day focusing on her mental strength. Support from PluSport’s fund for medical aids and prostheses enabled Claudia to finance her acoustic target system. It is these acoustic signals that make it possible for her to aim at the target at all.

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René Pfister (PluSport), Heinz Reichle (trainer) and Claudia Kunz (markswoman) receive the donation cheque from Martina Kratzer (Sanitas) and Lili Shao (Sanitas).

Shooting from home

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Of course, the coronavirus has also turned Claudia’s training and competition schedule upside down. But she has tried to remain positive and motivated: “If a competition is cancelled, I focus on how this gives me more time to improve”. And the special circumstances have also led to positive developments, with tournaments abroad being replaced by events at home. It’s a bit like working from home for shooting sports. These virtual events made it possible to merge several different categories, with sighted and visually impaired markspeople able to compete against one another and against opponents in wheelchairs. René Pfister, PluSport’s event and sponsoring manager, adds: “Joint competitions can be very valuable for disabled sportspeople, because more people are made aware of their extraordinary achievements.” Although these “home competitions” were not recorded officially, they showed Claudia that she is on the right track as she beat the Swiss and world record in her category. What’s more, she placed 30th on average among the 100 or so sighted and 3 visually impaired participants over 25 rounds, leaving many sighted people in her wake.

Long-term value of donations to PluSport

This is just one of many stories made possible through the targeted use of financial resources by PluSport, the umbrella organisation for disabled sports. The donations from the Sanitas Active App make an important contribution to this. All donations are put towards the above-mentioned fund for prostheses and aids. From here, the money is distributed to people for whom physical exercise cannot be taken for granted.

The donation was achieved thanks to Sanitas Active app users collecting virtual coins for steps taken or reaching daily sporting targets. These coins can be redeemed either in vouchers for specific online shops or in donations to PluSport. Last year, users converted their phyiscal activties into CHF 16,620 for disabled sports. Heinz Reichle, Claudia Kunz’s trainer, is delighted with the idea: “It’s a win-win situation for people with and without physical limitations”.

Huge thanks and big goals

PluSport is delighted with the donations that were collected again last year and, like all sports fans, hopes that bigger sporting events will be possible again soon. Claudia’s goal for the future is to bring medals home to Switzerland from the next European or World Championships. She is grateful for being given the opportunity to follow her dreams and is convinced that donations to PluSport make a lot of people happy.

Other people who have been helped by the medical aids and prostheses fund

“Our son Raoul uses his RaceRunner every time he goes out to play with the other children. This way he is still able to be a part of their games and can keep up on his bike.” Nadja Pierre

“Thanks to my new sports prosthesis, I was able to set a new personal best of 48 minutes and 10 seconds over 10 km during the Taj Mahal marathon organised by Virtual Runners.de” Daniel Wyss

“I’m still very thankful to have my sports prosthesis, because running is an important release when I’m working from home every day.” Norbert Strittmatter

PluSport

PluSport Disabled Sports Switzerland supports people with disabilities by offering programmes for all types of sport and exercise. Donations are used exclusively for this purpose. PluSport also organises sporting events, such as their national PluSport Day, ski days, football tournaments, open days for modern sports such as climbing, karate, kayaking, sailing, and many more. In the area of competitive sport, PluSport promotes young talent and ensures that ambitious athletes can take part in national and international competitions with Swiss Paralympic.

More information: plusport.ch/en

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