The LOTOS Cup - In Search for the Champion’s Successors programme, organised under the National Ski Jumping Development initiative, was launched in 2004.
For five subsequent seasons (2005-2012) it has been a huge organisational and sporting success, becoming one of Poland’s leading CSR projects related to sports. The cornerstones of the initiative are to promote, on an unprecedented scale, ski jumping and Nordic combined among kids and teenagers, while discovering the finest Polish ski-jumping and skiing talents.
The key objective behind the programme was to launch a system designed to actively support young athletes practising at ski-jumping clubs which run their own youth sections. In the years 2004–2012, Grupa LOTOS purchased 235 pairs of skis complete with bindings, 211 suits, 100 helmets and 210 ski-jumping boots for the most talented young ski jumpers from 19 clubs all over Poland. By donating a total of 756 sets of professional sports equipment over five years, the programme has made it possible to provide training to the youngest age groups. Each year, following the end of all LOTOS Cup events, we grant scholarships and awards to the best young ski jumpers, ranked at top positions in the tournament’s general classification. Grupa LOTOS has thus launched the largest CSR project aimed to support talented ski jumpers from Polish clubs.
The sporting and training success of the programme is undisputed - it shows the large potential of young Polish ski jumpers. Over the eight seasons the number of young ski jumpers and Nordic combined skiers has increased, while the cyclical LOTOS Cup youth competitions have been described, by both coaches and observers, as one of the best organised events for young ski jumpers in the world.
In each of the 66 LOTOS Cup youth competitions, held between 2007 and 2012 to the World Cup format on the ski jumps in Szczyrk, Wisła, Zagórz and Zakopane, the number of competitors exceeded 170.
Three years from its inception, the first athlete trained under the “In Search for the Champion’s Successors” programme was called up to the national senior team. Maciej Kot from the Start Krokiew club of Zakopane took part in the team event of the FIS World Cup held in Finnish Lahti (March 2007) and thus one of the main objectives behind the initiative – to discover the finest Polish ski-jumping talent who could represent Poland at the world’s most famous jump sites – was accomplished. Kamil Stoch, who was the first junior ski jumper to receive a scholarship from Grupa LOTOS as the best ski jumper of the young generation, undoubtedly sets an example as a jumper who has consistently achieved his sporting targets and reached top positions in the World Cup’s general classification.