From June 21 to June 23 this year, the 16th IBA Group’s tourist rally took place 70 km away from Minsk. Over 1,000 people got together to enjoy nature and sports. The participants of the rally ranged in age from several months to their 70s. The organizers of the event did their best to meet the needs of such a versatile audience.
IBA Group’s tourist rally is an annual tradition for the IBA Group’s community. It is a time when IBA Group’s employees, their families, and friends gathered to celebrate team spirit, endurance, nature, and sports. It is more than just an annual celebration. It is a spotlight on what these values mean to each IBA Group’s employee.
The expectations from the event were far from being optimistic as the weather forecast promised heavy rains and windstorm. That was the first challenge to overcome for most of the participants. They got through the heavy rain on the way to the venue of the rally and were rewarded by fantastic weather on the days to follow.
The IBA tourist rally has longstanding traditions that developed together with IBA Group. What started as an 87-people event in 2005, grew into a massive 1,000+ participant rally. This year, the organizers welcomed a new participating team Lemmingi that defied such veterans as Pertsy, Dynamit, Dobry Vecher, Belki, and Smarch Cats. The bike biathlon was added to the list of competition categories. Other team categories included obstacle racing, mud racing, volleyball, badminton, rock climbing, draniki (potato pancakes) contest, and some individual disciplines such as ropes course and darts.
On Friday evening, to warm up and to dry up the atmosphere, a culinary draniki competition was held under the guidance of an experienced chef. All participants and viewers\tasters enjoyed every minute and bite of the contest. The Mammoth team won the first place.
The opening ceremony of the tourist rally took place at 09.30 am on Saturday. At the opening ceremony, Sergei Levteev, IBA Group Chairman, made a welcoming speech. According to the tradition, Alexei Tereschuk, the captain of Smart Cats, the last year’s winning team, opened the rally by raising the flag.
The rally program was diverse and manifold. Each participant found an occupation to his or her taste, be it an athlete, a fan, a guest or a child. The program of workshops was varied. One could opt for an individual pottery class, take part in a tea ceremony, master a new style of calligraphy, make a nesting house, or compete in funny duo contests. The strongest could go up against Vyacheslav Khoroneko, the six-time record holder of the English Guinness World Records, and a repeated world champion and a record holder in free weight lifting.
Other activities enjoyed by the rally participants included a ride on a trolley, a walk on the rope course, a wall climbing, and a ride in a BRDM-2 military reconnaissance vehicle. Everyone received a charge of positive emotions during a Fun Starts relay race. Wellness lovers could indulge themselves in saunas, bathe in a nearby lake, and get a Hawaii-like suntan.
On Saturday, all participants and guests enjoyed breakfast and lunch.
Throughout the day, the kids danced and played with animators, took rides on catamarans and canoes, played in an inflatable castle, rode a merry-go-round, and watched cartoons in the karaoke tent.
In the evening and throughout the night, the teams had wonderful bonfire parties accompanied by shashlik and guitar songs. Everyone could unwind at the disco and demonstrate their vocal abilities in the karaoke tent. The Saturday night also hosted Bez Bileta, a well-known Belarusian group, and the DeTroit cover band. That was one of many moments when members of competing teams celebrated the company’s spirit and unity.
This feeling of being a part of IBA Group’s global family was somehow complemented by the atmosphere of solidarity inside each team. Most of the teams comprised colleagues of the same department. The tour rally for them is another chance to strengthen the team spirit and extend the relationships beyond the working environment.
Each team had a motto, a flag, and a designated territory. The teams’ captains did their very best to win the contests and to feed the teams. Each member of the team was assigned a task, the teams‘ cooks used their creativity and experience to appeal to the taste of each team’s member.
As the tradition has it, there are no ex-employees at IBA. Many retired and ex-
The nine teams competed in the multiple categories, including obstacle racing, mud racing, water relay race, rowing slalom, volleyball, bike biathlon, rock climbing, and badminton. Rope course, darts, and weights lifting were available for individual competition.
The award ceremony took place on Sunday morning. Winning teams, Lemmingi, Dynamite, and SmartCats and prizewinners in individual categories received medals and prizes. Gennady Makeev, HR Director, made a closing speech where he summed up the results of the rally and thanked the organizers and the participants.