Challenge Family installs Board of Directors
January 3, 2020
CHALLENGEFAMILY is pleased to announce the instalment of a Board of Directors. Zibi Szlufcik will move from the CEO position to become President of the Board. The Board is completed by Jort Vlam, Richard Belderok and Jefry Visser. Szlufcik will hand over the CEO role to Jort Vlam, Jefry Visser and Richard Belderok are assigned respectively as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Technical Officer (CTO). The CHALLENGEFAMILY headquarters will be based in Almere, The Netherlands.
CHALLENGEFAMILY, with almost 40 races worldwide, closed 2019 as its most successful year in terms of race quality, athlete satisfaction and participation. Zibi Szlufcik: “To enable us to keep this upward trend – growing the number of athletes as well as improving the race experience and extending the portfolio – we decided to strengthen the management of our series, to provide an even better service and support to our race directors and to our athletes. That’s the reason why CHALLENGEFAMILY will be led by a Board of Directors, which will commence on the 1st of January 2020.” While Vlam, Belderok and Visser will take the daily and operational lead, Szlufcik as President of the Board will fully focus on brand strategy, partnerships and development of the race portfolio.
Vlam, Belderok and Visser are most likely known for their role at CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM: Vlam as Commercial Director, Belderok as Race Director and Visser as Operational Director. With their team of over 700 volunteers, they have built a race with over 4000 participants every year, highlighted by hosting seven ETU Championships and the ITU Multisport World Championships 2020 in Almere. They are also deeply involved at other CHALLENGEFAMILY races which include CHALLENGEDAYTONA , CHALLENGEGERAARDSBERGEN and THECHAMPIONSHIP and have been part of the CHALLENGEFAMILY core team for over three years. “Since we were kids, we’ve been watching triathletes doing great things in Almere year after year. This inspired us to focus our future careers within the sport of triathlon. Triathlon is in our DNA. Through the years, these dreams became reality and we created world class events ourselves. We are grateful for the opportunity to further develop what has been started by our friends of the Walchshöfer family in Roth, Germany: CHALLENGEFAMILY“, says Vlam.
“And we’re very pleased to have Zibi at our side. His knowledge and experience makes him simply indispensable”, Visser adds. “With the actual changes, the operational side of CHALLENGEFAMILY will be managed from Almere. As the face of our CHALLENGEFAMILY brand, Szlufcik will remain working around the globe, visiting races when he can.”
Belderok reassures athletes “business as usual and any changes will be in the interest of the athlete. CHALLENGEFAMILY is #AllAboutTheAthlete and this will remain our main objective. Within CHALLENGEFAMILY, we work every day as hard as possible to organize quality races and triathlon festivals to be the best they can be. This is our passion and in 2020 we want to intensify these values all over the world. CHALLENGEFAMILY #WeAreTriathlon.”
For Szlufcik, these changes are a natural ‘evolution’ within CHALLENGEFAMILY. “CHALLENGEFAMILY isn’t about one person or about a core team. It’s about passion, inspiration and determination, which we share with thousands of athletes all over the world. It’s about race directors, athletes, local communities and of course all the amazing volunteers, who make each and every CHALLENGEFAMILY race unforgettable. It’s about becoming better, about emotions and about a lifestyle. It’s a way of life: for me and everybody working for CHALLENGEFAMILY. #SeeYouAttheFinishLine!”
Based in Almere, The Netherlands, CHALLENGEFAMILY is the leading global triathlon festival race series. With 40 races annually across more than 20 host countries, CHALLENGEFAMILY is the fastest growing mass endurance triathlon brand in the world. CHALLENGEFAMILY offers “events for everyone” with a “festival character,” so that everyone can share in the triathlon experience, from professionals to age-groupers.