Gold Rush in Mol at the 15th ASCERI Atomiade

What initially began as a football tournament between German institutes involved in nuclear research has developed into ASCERI (Association of the Sports Communities of the European Research Institutes), which aims to contribute to a united Europe through regular sport meetings, bringing together members of public research institutes at the European level. The members come from over 40 research institutes (see here) spanning 16 countries.



CERN team going for Gold at the summer Atomiade!


One of the main sport events organised by ASCERI, the 15th Atomiade was held from 5 to 8 June 2015 (organisational committee JRC Geel) in Mol, in the Kempen region of Belgium. CERN participated by sending 40 athletes from 15 countries to compete in a variety of disciplines: Athletics, Basketball, Cycling, Mountain Bike Race, Canoeing/Kayak, S.U.P., Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball.

The 1200 athletes from 36 European research institutes were housed in the fantastic SunParks centre, which was perfectly conducive to generating a fantastic team spirit among all of the athletes. Despite the fact that a couple of the clubs were nearly hit by last minute disasters which could have prevented them from taking part, they pulled through magnificently to claim gold in the tennis tournament and silver in the basketball tournament. Both teams were close to not having enough members to send a team.

The CERN male volleyball team claimed gold whilst the mixed volleyball team won bronze. There was success on the athletics track, where gold was won in both the 4 x 100m relay and the mixed relay, among a host of other medals. More gold and bronze medals were collected in the swimming pool, on the lake in the kayak and paddle board competition and also a well-deserved silver in the table tennis tournament, in fact every single CERN athlete managed to win at least one medal. In total, 13 Gold, 9 Silver and 4 Bronze were won by the CERN team.

There was great camaraderie between athletes, each supporting one another in the different disciplines, providing training tips and encouragement when competition was tough and sharing in the joy of our colleagues' success. An atmosphere of Fair Play prevailed and whilst the athletes fought with grit and determination to perform their very best, they were all extremely proud to represent CERN. All participants would like to thank the Staff Association and the CERN Administration for their support.

by Chris Haen, Konrad Jende & Rachel Bray, Atomiade organizers and athletes for the CERN team