With their legs wobbling, second-generation immigrants Serena Sarcione (Italy), Pablo Varela (Spain), Halide Sar and Musab Kaya (Turkey) were waiting for their first attempt at skiing in December 2017. The invitation to the First Ski Experience on the beginner’s slope at Engelberg-Trübsee came from Alpcan Özkul, community reporter at “20 Minuten”, Switzerland Tourism ST and Titlis Cableways(German). The idea came from the ST media team.

Özkul is known as “Alpi” in his weekly column “Alpi knows best” (German). He doesn’t shy away from any challenge. The challenges come from his online readers. As a second-generation immigrant with Turkish roots, he is the perfect person for generating enthusiasm about skiing among young second-generation immigrants in Switzerland.

Target group with huge potential

The potential in this target group is huge: according to the Swiss Labour Force Survey, there were 2.5 million people over the age of 15 with an immigration background living in Switzerland in 2014, one-fifth of whom were second-generation immigrants (source: BFS 2015). ST estimates that 85% of adult second-generation immigrants have never tried winter sports. The reason is that there are many second-generation immigrants as well as expats living in Switzerland who grew up in cultures that are less familiar with snow sports. These second-generation immigrants are interested in trying out skiing, as shown by the 200 registrations that “20 Minuten” received in a short time for the Engelberg experience.

The five beginner skiers showed that it is possible to learn to ski as an adult. The first turns in the snow came up quickly. And the fun didn’t end when the skiing was over, as the article in “20 Minuten” (German) shows. The free newspaper, which has the biggest media brand and reach in Switzerland, published the article not only on 20min.ch, but also on its Facebook page (German), garnering an impressive 30,200 views.