Ready. Set. Clown around!

The 2016 edition of the RED NOSES International Camp recently concluded in Zbraslavice, Czech Republic. Officially convened as the International Clown Olympic Games, this annual event brought together delegates from all ten partner organisations of RNI to improve and streamline the work of hospital clowning.

Nearly 200 clowns, disguised as athletes, proudly represented their country over the course of the four days. Each participant could choose from more than 60 workshops and lectures to expand their knowledge. Topics ranged from geriatric interventions, improvisation, the history of clowning, to learning how to juggle or practice laughter yoga.

“Work as a hospital clown does not simply mean smiling and wandering around the hospital. Like professional athletes, our job requires tremendous preparation, personal responsibility and mental endurance. I consider it an honor that we are able to year’s host this event and offer such a space for an international exchange of best practices. The clowns continually pour out their positive energy, we want to also give them the recognition they deserve," said Managing Director, Mgr. Kateřina Slámová Kubešová.

When not concentrating on bringing home gold medals for their country, the clowns were improving their practical skills. Artistic workshops were given by leading hospital clowning experts to refine each participant’s techniques and abilities.

These courses are a mandatory part of the RNI curriculum. Within this framework, clowns must complete courses such as those offered by the co-founder of Zdravotní Klaun, Gary Edwards, in strengthening the identity of their clown character; or improving their nonverbal communication with their clowning partner, led by the Artistic Director of Austria, Martin Kotal.

The two founders of RNI Mrs. Monica Cullen and Mr. Giora Seeliger, acting as Olympic Gods, presided over the opening and closing ceremonies of the event. Included in their opening remarks was a review of the previous years success of the RED NOSES group as well as the collective vision for the coming years. 

The Czech hosts (Zdravotní Klaun) recreated the setting of various host cities, like the 1956 Summer Olypmics in Melbourne or the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagana, from June 27th to 30th. There was even an official cheerleading squad, motivating all  participants with their funny performances.

"The Clown Olympic Games were a great success.  My personal highlight was the ending ceremony, during which each country’s Managing and Artistic Director were presented with trophies displaying how many of their clowns from their countries had completed the full certification process. It is proof of how hard these clowns work to perfect their art," explained Artistic Director of Czech Clowns, MgA. Petr Jarčevský.


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