Wawrinka teams up with Swiss hospitality schools

Wawrinka teams up with Swiss hospitality schools
Florent Rondez (SEG), Stanislas Wawrinka and Benoît Samson (SEG). Photo: Anja Hammächer
The Swiss Education Group (SEG), operator of five English-language schools in hotel management and culinary arts, announced on Thursday the appointment of tennis star Stanislas Wawrinka as its new ambassador.

The partnership was unveiled at a press conference in Montreux in the canton of Vaud, where the group operates one of its schools, Hotel Institute Montreux.

Wawrinka, a Lausanne native who is currently ranked eighth best men’s tennis player in the world, is an ideal ambassador for the group, SEG said.

“As someone who is ambitious and always strives for excellence, the tennis champion is the perfect embodiment of the values of the Swiss Education Group’s schools,” the group said in a statement.

“You have to work hard to reach your goal,” Wawrinka, 28, is quoted as saying.

“It’s taken me a long time to become what I am — that’s what I want to pass on to young people.”

Wawrinka added that he loved cooking, which is taught at the two campuses of the education group’s Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland in Lucerne and Le Bouveret in the canton of Valais.

“It’s a creative profession — difficult but fantastic,” he said.

SEG said Wawrinka could have easily had a career in haute cuisine if he had not been a tennis champion.

The group added that it sees sport as an essential part of a “rounded, well-balanced training programme, helping to improve cognitive performance and bolster self-confidence”.

With a total enrolment of more than 5,00 students on seven campuses where all courses are offered in English, SEG bills itself as Switzerland’s leading hospitality educator.

Founded in 1994 by Dr. Andreas Künzli, the group’s origins began with the launch of a language training school, Swiss Language Club, before Künzli diversified into the hospitality industry.

In 2008, the group was acquired by Invision AG, a Swiss investment fund.

Other schools operated by the group include the César Ritz Colleges, with campuses in Lucerne, Le Bouveret and Brig, in the canton of Valais; IHTTI in Neuchâtel; and Swiss Hotel Management School, with campuses in Caux and Leysin in the canton of Vaud.

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