What is common in extreme water sports and horse therapy - Telenor rewards small communities with professional support from Hello Wood

Two teams of outstanding community power were announced as the winners of Telenor’s application programme for small communities titled “Együtt/tér” (Together/Space). The programme invited applications from small communities whose value creation efforts make a difference in their environments and offered to construct a special community space for them as a prize. Winners selected from the 177 applicants included Szitakötő Water and Extreme Sports Club and Zabszalma Foundation. Telenor partner Hello Wood provided professional support for the construction of a special wooden structure for both winners.

Zabszalma – horse therapy for children with autism 

Zabszalma Foundation provides horse therapy to children with special development needs including those with autism spectrum disorders. They believe that horses are the best helpers in early development that can support children in overcoming difficulties. In their riding school in Zugló, Budapest, they offer development sessions to children and organize family days and special camps for them. In addition, they build a community, support parents, provide a site for group meetings and sometimes even for birthday parties as children with special needs are usually not welcome at other event venues.
The prize they won under the “Együtt/tér” (Together/Space) application programme was a yurt-like special round building constructed at the site of the riding school. This will be a new safe community space where parents, children and therapists can meet before and after therapy sessions, do assessments, play together or do some exercises. Earlier, such activities were performed in the open air whether it was rain, snow or bright sunshine. As a result, the new building will make life at the riding-school a lot more comfortable. 

A Hello Wood által felhúzott épület a Zabszalma Alapítványnál


Szitakötő – a sports club focusing on community building 

Established in 2017, Szitakötő Water and Extreme Sports Club has the mission to promote water and extreme sports in the Lake Velence region, encourage young people to do sports and support talented athletes. In addition to training sessions, they organize camps and sports events. They are proud that they have been funding their activities from their own resources without any major external support in recent years. For their application, they designed a community space on the free beach of Agárd, a highly popular spot on the shore of Lake Velence. Members of the community have used this area as their meeting place and the site of their water sports training sessions where they can give any visitor an opportunity to try these sports. 
The new base set up under the programme – and with the consent of the local municipality – is a facility that can support sports activities during the day and provide a venue for cultural events such as an outdoor cinema or live concerts in the evening. Szitakötő’s Agárd base will be used for training, talent management and community sports events and it will also offer a storage space for the sports club’s equipment that makes the life of the non-profit organization much easier in the summer season. 

“This base makes a huge difference for our club. Until now, we didn’t have a permanent HQ, people could meet us only at sports events or informal community gatherings. This permanent community space will give us an opportunity to introduce the water and extreme sports available locally (windsurf, kitesurf, sup and longboard) in a high-quality setting. We are inviting everyone from beginners to hobby and competitive athletes. This spot has been the meeting place of our core community members for years and finally we have a roof above our heads”, said Zita Orova, founding member of Szitakötő Club. 

A Hello Wood által felhúzott épület a Szitakötő Alapítványnál


What is the Együtt/tér (Together/Space) programme attracting 177 applications about?

Be it a stage, a jetty, a playground or a dog obstacle course, a common space can mean a lot to a community whose members share the same hobby, the same sport or support the same good cause. The application programme aiming to support the creative power of small communities was inspired by Telenor’s ongoing campaign about being better together. Under this campaign, Telenor customers who refer their friends to Telenor make both of them eligible for a discount. Telenor invited Hello Wood, a team of artists known for their unique wooden structures and installations, as its partner to announce an application programme for small communities. In a pilot project to give applicants an inspiration, the partners constructed a covered grandstand for amateur sports club Fehérvári Rugby Club.

The “Együtt/tér” (Together/Space) programme attracted 177 applicants with a great diversity of ideas including a bicycle storage shed, a gratitude park, a mobile stage, a playground, a community winter garden and a granary. The jury selected Szitakötő Club and Zabszalma Foundation as the two winners of a new community space for their activities.

Here you can watch a video about Zabszalma Foundation

Here you can watch a video about Szitakötő Club