For the past three years, UWC Red Cross Nordic has been invited to take part in Ridderdagene – an annual event where people come together for a weekend at Storedal in South-Eastern Norway to prove that everybody can participate in, and enjoy outdoor activities and sports regardless of ability.
Dylan DeMarco (UWC RCN 14-16), a member of the ‘Knights EAC’ at the College, which prepares students for participation in Ridderdagene and its sister event, Ridderrrennet, reports on this August’s event:
While the final days of the first years’ intro-week came to a close, over ten hours of driving and ferries away, a group of students volunteered and took part in Ridderdagene. The summertime sibling of the Ridderrennet winter sports and races took place in fantastic sunny weather, only to be outshined by the beaming smiles of the participants hoisting medals high overhead. RCN was represented in the 40km and 10km bicycle races by Yerson Castellanos (Colombia), Melvin Gomez (El Salvador), and Alberto Arroyo (Spain) along with their companions on the road Cedric Rakotoarimanana (Madagascar), Dylan DeMarco, and Elias Rodriguez (Argentina).
On the day of their arrival, the participants and the rest of the volunteer group helped to organize and set-up the Storedal Cultural Center and the farm for the arrival of the scouts and other participants who would be camping outside over the weekend. The following morning held the main events: a 40km, 20km, 10km, and 5km bicycle race through the rest of Storedal and some of the picturesque surrounding farmland. After some well-earned rest and water came a cultural show which included a song and a Latino dance from the RCN volunteers as well as other musical performances and an impressive demonstration by a blind participant who rapidly chopped and prepared an entire salad while keeping his hands whole and unharmed!
The weekend was capped off with a day spent by the sea, with sailing, swimming, and some of the last good sunshine of the summer to be shared by all before making the long overnight journey back to campus. With the weekend coming to a close, classes rising on the near horizon, and another year of RCN to look forward to, there was plenty to reflect on during the return trip to campus. Of course, the occasional break to stretch the legs and dance around left plenty of fun to be had on the road. Ridderdagene was and has always been a great time for those involved, both participating and volunteering, and the participants from this year already eagerly wait for being able to return again next year!
Diane Hanisch, the Project Leader for Ridderdagene på Storedal, wrote to the College after the event to say:
… I would like to thank you for giving us at Ridderdagene på Storedal the privilege of having a group of students from the school. As always, they were a wonderful group of young people, helpful, hardworking and talented. Again, my heartfelt thanks for UWC´s involvement in Ridderdagene på Storedal.