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6 November 2015

Earlier this month we ran a story on why a group of employees in the international security company Verimatrix, are raising funds to kick-start the ESCIF project, “Aging Well”.

Inspired by the strength and courage of their colleague Olivier Griguer who became paralyzed in a mountain biking accident a few years ago, the team of six are running the French Riviera Marathon this Sunday, November 8th and at the time of writing this are at 84% of their £4,500 (€6,2934) target!

We wanted to get to know team Verimatrix a little better and so asked them a few questions about the race and what Olivier means to them.


1. Who had the initial idea to participate to the race as a team?

Vanessa Vigar: “A few of us got the idea ‘to do something’ to raise money for people with spinal cord injuries’ after being inspired by Olivier’s courage after his accident. His determination to continue to do the things he loves made a big impression, as it did seeing how he has adapted tools and technologies so he can continue to work with us.  Running is a popular way for Verimatrix employees to raise money for good causes and with the French Riviera Marathon being held in the region where Olivier lives, it has is a great excuse for a team of us to run together, to raise money for a terrific cause and for Olivier to meet us at the finish line!”


2. How did it go to find runners within the company? Was it easy?

Pierre Hunter: Much of the team already plays tennis together so why not run together, particularly when it is for Olivier? For those not running, many have offered support by making donations to the team’s crowd funding page. We still have a few days to go, and we are asking friends, family and colleagues to support us!”


3. Since when you they training for this marathon?

Michele Bartoli: “Most of the Verimatrix team run regularly. Some are members of running clubs and run races. We are running a relay marathon which means we each run a distances of between 3 KM to 10 KM – there’s something for everyone!”


4. Who had the idea to make the fund raising? How much are you aiming raise?

Jesús Izquierdo: “As Vanessa mentioned earlier, a group of us felt compelled ‘to do something’ after meeting up with Olivier a year ago. Raising money for a European-wide Spinal Cord charity made the most sense and the European Spinal Cord Injury Federation (ESCIF) (http://www.escif.org/) was an ideal organisation. The team has set a target to raise £4,500 and as of today we have raised 84% of the full amount. It’s not too late to donate!


5. How well did you know Olivier before his accident and if ever some relationships were created or changed between the runners and me at some point?

Julien Roques: “Yes some of us have been working with Olivier for some years now. It was while he was performing some intervention for me at one of our customers in La Reunion when the accident happened. The relationship is of course different, it’s harder to maintain a regular contact because we do not interface daily in our jobs, and there are personal constraints. But it’s always a pleasure to meet Olivier and to see his courage in building his new life. He has been very involved in the planning of our race and he is planning on meeting us at the finish line which would be amazing.”


6. What can ESCIF members and supporters do between now and Sunday to support you?

George Cristea: Of course, donate to help us reach our target – we are so close and only have a few days to go! Also, if anyone is in the South of France on Sunday, come to Nice or Cannes between 08:00 and 12:30 and cheer for us. We are running in Verimatrix/ESCIF shirts (similar to the one Pierre is wearing in his photo) so you should see us. 

Interview With Team Verimatrix - Running for Olivier – And The ESCIF This Sunday, November 8th was posted by ESCIF.
To discuss any of its subject matter further please contact ESCIF.

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