Last Sunday, a triathlon was once again held in Menen after a hiatus of several years. This event was also provided many goosebumps as it marked the end of an era. This is because Frederik Van Lierde was competing for the final time in his athletic career. The departing champion crossed the finish line for the final time together with Bart Aernouts and Pieter Heemeryck.
Decospan was not unmoved by this either. Over the last few months, a dozen adventurous sports enthusiasts have been training to become an ironman or ironwoman. Yesterday was finally the day, and with great dedication and focus they stormed through Menen along with Frederik, accompanied by numerous cheering triathlon fans.
A section of the course through the factory
The Decospan Triathlon in Menen is equivalent to swimming 1.9 kilometres in the Leie river, cycling for 90 kilometres on a section of the annual Ghent-Wevelgem race course, and running a half-marathon through Menen. The half-marathon course was particularly special. Not only did the course end in the Vaubanstadion, but competitors also ran straight through Decospan’s newest veneer factory.
From the car park they ran right into the cargo loading and unloading area and across various production halls where veneer is processed, up to the air-conditioned storage area where the athletes went past 165 different types of wood. This provided a unique experience and a desperately needed boost. After all, they were really feeling those final few kilometres.
5-Year engagement as main sponsor
This is not the first time that Decospan has supported sporting initiatives. In addition to being the main sponsor of the Decospan Volley Team in Menen, the wood solutions specialist will also now be taking on the Decospan Triathlon in Menen for the next five years.
“Large companies are often asked to sponsor good causes, clubs, and events. Each initiative has a good message which does not make it any easier to assess each request. That’s why we make deliberate choices at Decospan. For instance, we only support local initiatives that are in keeping with our company culture. Decospan is evolving into a lifestyle company. That’s why it is important that you also make a contribution to the region in which your employees live and work. It lets you keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening in the region, but it also allows you to increase involvement among your colleagues,” explained Pieterjan Desmet, CEO.
A healthy mind in a healthy body
Furthermore, Decospan is also strongly committed to an internal health policy. Decospan is convinced that employees need both a healthy mind and a healthy body to be happy in the workplace. That is why the company continually invests in a long-term health policy. For instance, it organises monthly workshops and group sessions with a variety of themes, such as mental resilience, healthy diet, active lifestyle and group training. The mini tribes that have spontaneously appeared, such as the Decorunners, Decobikers, and Decowalkers, are proof that this health policy is producing results.
Athletes have a real winning mentality. This was also demonstrated by Frederik, who remained competitive right until his final triathlon. This same mentality also runs through the DNA of everyone who works at Decospan. This determines how you deal with challenges and how you achieve your goal. At Decospan, we are glad to take initiatives, and we do not wait until opportunities appear. We try to create them ourselves. We are always looking at where or what we can improve, with the necessary responsibility. We improve by constantly growing and learning. And when our people grow, Decospan grows with them too as a company.