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KION Group Supports Company Runs and Sporting Events for Employees

The power of sports strengthens team spirit, brings colleagues together, and creates unforgettable experiences. From virtual interactive events to local city runs to triathlons, the KION Group boasts plenty of examples of strong individual competitors—and of athletic team performances. And sometimes it’s not the winning but the taking part that counts!


Exercise keeps you fit. It helps to prevent and treat physical diseases, such as diabetes, and reduces the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Sports also improve your ability to think and learn, and boost your powers of discernment. Given the many benefits, the following numbers may come as a shock: More than 80% of adolescents and 27% of adults worldwide fail to meet the level of activity recommended by the WHO ( World Health Organization ), which not only affects the health of individuals throughout their lives, but also places a financial burden on the health system and society as a whole. To counteract this, we support our employees in a variety of sporting activities and events across the globe.

Running Events Worldwide

Triathlon in Zurich, JP Morgan Race in Frankfurt

Each year, a race is held at the KION Group headquarters in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). In 2024 alone, 290 KION runners took part. After the 5.6-km race, which took the competitors through the city center, they met up again for an after-party on the KION ship—tired but happy! Taking part in the race is a long-standing KION tradition and, for many, a personal highlight. The race is a fixture in the calendar that unites, creates solidarity and cohesion, and gives KION employees the opportunity to break personal bests and improve each year.

Worldwide, the respective subsidiaries of the KION Group encourage their employees at many locations to participate in similar events. In Switzerland, for example, teams from STILL Swiss, Linde Swiss, and Dematic Germany competed in the Zurich Triathlon 2023: The race involved swimming in Lake Zurich, cycling around the lake’s edge, and finally running to the finish line in the Tiefenbrunnen—an unforgettable experience.

“STILLians” Break Records

Another KION subsidiary, STILL GmbH, even has a registered company sports club at its headquarters in Hamburg (Germany). It offers a wide range of activities—from bowling to volleyball and from tennis to sailing. The idea is that people who exercise stay fit and healthy, which benefits the individual employee as well as the employer. Team sports also promote team spirit and a sense of togetherness.

Back in 2022, employees in Hamburg (who refer to themselves as “STILLians”) even broke a record as more than 200 of them lined up for the MOPO team relay race through Hamburg’s Stadtpark—never before had so many employees from a single company taken part.

“The MOPO team relay race is a special experience each year that strengthens cohesion outside of everyday work,” says Frank Müller, Senior Vice President Sales & Service Business Development at STILL. “There are always employees from many different departments, both on and off the running track. This also brings together colleagues who might otherwise not see much of each other.”

Linde MH Dominates the City Run in Aschaffenburg

Linde Material Handling has also been involved in its local counterpart, the Aschaffenburg City Run, for many years, with numbers of participants ever increasing. In 2024, 260 runners in red Linde shirts competed for Linde Material Handling.

Four Linde MH teams even made it onto the podium in Aschaffenburg. A women’s team took second place in the overall standings, while, in the men’s event, all three podium finishes—1, 2, and 3—went to teams of runners from the KION subsidiary.

The Carrera de las Capacidades (“Race of Abilities”), which takes place annually on the same day in several major Spanish cities, shows that inclusion is also part of the sporting spirit, and aims to promote both societal and professional integration of people with disabilities. Participants include associations and institutions, but also groups of companies. This includes one team from KION subsidiary Dematic.

Employees Counting Their Daily Steps

Dematic has regular step challenges—most recently for “Engineers Week” in March 2024 under the motto “Moving Towards the Future Together.” The goal of the virtual challenge was to reach a combined total of 8,000,000 steps.

The real prize for those who manage at least 10,000 steps per week, though, is that they get to stay healthy! Through this and other initiatives, such as the provision of a soccer pitch at the Dematic plant in Monterrey, Dematic creates incentives for its employees to engage in sports—and thus not only promotes healthy living but also mental well-being and sporting spirit at the company.

KION Group’s Social Responsibility: Exercising for a Good Cause

During the coronavirus pandemic in particular, sports helped us to stay connected, to compete with each other, and to create shared experiences via the KION Digital WalkChain.

Colleagues were asked to enter online how many kilometers they had covered on foot. The goal: Reach 7,400 kilometers in total in order to symbolically bridge the 7,400-kilometer distance between the KION Group headquarters in Frankfurt am Main (Germany) and the headquarters of the subsidiary Dematic in Atlanta (US state of Georgia). Every kilometer covered was converted into a donation of one euro, raising 7,400 euros for charitable institutions.

Successful Individual Competitors and Inspiring Performances by Colleagues

Extreme Sport: Open Water Swimming

While the motto “it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part that counts” usually applies to company runs, there are also some athletes at KION who go all out. Take Jaime Gener, the 62-year-old Managing Director of Linde Material Handling Iberia. He has an unusual hobby: open water swimming. Together with two teammates, he swam the Strait of Gibraltar, a distance of about 24 kilometers. Jaime emphasizes the importance of being part of a team both at work and when swimming: “Teamwork is everything,” he says, pointing out the importance of mutual support and collaboration.

Competing in Triathlons with Daily Training Sessions

Team spirit is also central for multiple triathlete Merlin Kaszta from STILL, as he explains in KION’s LAGER-Feuer podcast: “Many people train for their first competition and then realize how much fun it is. You start with other people in STILL uniform and before you know it you are personally invested. Many people then get hooked, and the competitions are like a reward for the hard training they’ve put in beforehand.” He also emphasizes that it is possible to combine work and training for a triathlon by practicing a different one of the three sports (swimming, cycling, running) every day.

Hudson Silva from Dematic in Indaituba (Brazil), also a passionate triathlete, gives very similar tips: “Swimming 750 meters, cycling 20 km, jogging 5 km would be a good starting point,” he recommends. From his point of view, the parallels between sports and work are obvious: “Discipline and continuous effort are necessary for both!”

Finger Billiards in India and Basketball in China

In Pune (India), hundreds of KION India employees take part in the “Annual Sports Festival,” which sees competitors go head-to-head in a number of sports. There is cricket, of course, the Indian national sport, but also badminton, volleyball, chess, table tennis, and the more obscure sport of carrom: a game of skill that is sometimes referred to as “finger billiards.” Additionally, the KION India team participates in the Pune International Marathon every year, showcasing their dedication to fitness and community involvement. They also gather regularly to practice yoga, which has become a cherished annual tradition, fostering a sense of well-being and camaraderie.

The employees at Linde China are equally passionate, with basketball a very popular pastime at the Zhangzou site, which even has its own amateur league. The teams regularly compete against each other, with 800 participants playing between 50 and 60 games from June to August. And that’s not all: Teams belonging to the small company soccer league also come together up to 30 times a year. There is a simple reason behind this enthusiasm for sports: “It allows us to blow off steam,” explains Shaopeng Li, product manager and trade union member for culture and sports at Linde MH (China). “The forklift truck market in APAC is changing very quickly, it is very fast-paced, and the pressure has increased quite a bit in recent years with the expansion. Sports give us a chance to relax physically and mentally.”

Work Hard, Play Hard

Sports help, he says, to find balance. After all, those who work hard can also play hard. The younger colleagues who are joining Linde China also live by this guiding principle—but are often particularly enthusiastic about other ballgames. “Recently, many small ballgame associations have been set up,” explains Li. “For example, billiards, table tennis, and badminton.”

Sports connect people: From North America to Germany and Switzerland to India and China, there is no shortage of examples to show how collaborative sporting activities promote team spirit, improve physical and mental health, and create unforgettable experiences.