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Valsir and the WMRA: Supporting Opportunities for Athletes

The World Cup's new title sponsor aims to support mountain runners as they face the challenges of training and competing at their very best.

This is a year of firsts for the World Cup; the introduction of Gold and Silver Label designations is making the series accessible to new races, and with first visits to three new countries in Ireland, Portugal and Peru, athletes in new areas are getting the opportunity to experience mountain racing at the highest level.

Perhaps the biggest development though is that for the first time, the 2022 World Cup has a title sponsor; Valsir.

SMLCiolo 1 GulbertiAbout Valsir

Since 1987 Valsir have been manufacturing advanced systems for waste, drainage and water supply in the Italian province of Brescia.

Their headquarters are in Vestone in Valsabbia, a long valley descending from the Brenta Dolomites at one end to Lake Garda at the other. It's an area with a strong tradition of mountain running with Casto, home of Trofeo Nasego, just ten minutes away.

It is also an area with a strong history of industry. The damming of the Chiese has provided power for everything from metal production to manufacturing, boosting the economic fortunes of the valley in the process.

It is here that we find a cross over in values between industry and sport, between Valsir and the WMRA. The qualities which have ensured the growth and prosperity of Valsir and Valsabbia are the same as those which make great athletes; commitment and dedication.

To pursue excellence, to learn and to grow; the language that describes Valsir's drive to continue moving forward could just as well apply to a mountain runner who seeks to continue improving, race after race, year after year.

In the words of Mattia Gandini, Valsir's director of marketing, "As a runner, you train a lot during your day, during your week: you aim to compete in races, and the goal is to reach the summit. It's very difficult but you never give up because once you reach it, it's incredible.

"It's just a question of mental attitude.

"In our company, we work together as a team: we share our passion in difficulties, and we help and support each other to reach our target. And we never stop there: like a runner who seeks to compete in the next race, we go on to the next goal, to reach a new success.”

Recognising this common ground, Valsir are stepping in to support the continued growth of the World Cup, which now becomes the Valsir Mountain Running World Cup.

Supporting Opportunities for Athletes

In Valsir's home in Italy, as in most countries, the most popular sports are usually those with the biggest budgets; cycling, football, motorsport.

Valsir see a connection between their company philosophy and the dedication of athletes in smaller sports like Mountain Running; when an athlete is driven by their own goals, motivated just by the curiosity of what they can do, their actions retain an authenticity and a trueness to themselves. Among these athletes we often find the greatest champions and stories of real sporting beauty.

SMLNasego 1 CourthoudThe motivation of Valsir in partnering with the WMRA, and specifically with the World Cup, is to help support these athletes as they face the challenges of training and competing at their very best. This year sees a greater than three-fold increase in prize money for the overall series and, just as important, a doubling of the support which is available to athletes travelling to and from races.

For the WMRA, increasing opportunities for athletes is at the heart of the mission to grow the World Cup and this is a huge positive step on that journey.

There is a famous quote from Valsir's founder, Silvestro Niboli: "Sono le gocce che fanno il mare." The sea is made up of water drops. Without the drops, there is no sea, and even small things should not be disregarded, as they all contribute in a larger context.

Both Valsir and the WMRA believe that every enthusiast should have the opportunity to realise their goals, and it would be a pleasure to know that this partnership contributes a few drops to that ocean.

Photos - Alexis Courthoud and Marco Gulberti, Corsa in Montagna.

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