TR Press UK - 10-12-2020

“Humility. That's the first word that comes to mind.”

The meeting with Team Rynkeby and some of the project's many enthusiasts has already made an impact on the Team Rynkeby Foundation's new chairman of the board, Ivan Thyregod. It forces great humility, he says and now looks forward to actively participating in the project for the first time.

When Ivan Thyregod had his first official working day for Rynkeby Foods in Ringe on 1st of October this year, it was not only the title of new General Manager of the juice facturer that he could add to his CV.

The title also includes the responsibility as chairman of the board of the Team Rynkeby Foundation, which is the entire foundation of the large charity project and the approximately 3,000 participants divided into 59 cycling teams in eight countries. A project with now 20 years behind it. And in the two decades, Team Rynkeby has collected almost half a billion DKK for children with critical illnesses.

"The numbers alone mean that you approach this task with the utmost humility," says Ivan Thyregod and immediately points out that the meeting with some of the people who make up the project only adds further to the humility.

The volunteers’ own the project
The 53-year-old from West Jutland had then both read and heard about Team Rynkeby before joining. Just as he has on several occasions passed the yellow riders on the country roads. But during the first months as part of the project, he has developed more emotional ties to it.

“Before I joined, of course, I met the project here and there. I saw a cycling team, a good cause, and I saw the name Team Rynkeby. Now I have had time to meet some of these fantastic enthusiasts who make up the project, and get to know Team Rynkeby from the inside, so now I see something completely unique. Although it is not formally like that, I see a project that is owned by all the volunteers, all the enthusiasts and all the good people who participate and support, "says Ivan Thyregod and continues:

“I see a project that in the most beautiful way combines doing something good for oneself with doing something good for others and doing it as part of a dedicated community. For me, there is a thick line under common values in the Team of Team Rynkeby. "

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Rounded by associations and team spirit
The emphasis on team spirit has in many ways been a common thread in the life of Ivan Thyregod, both professionally and privately.

A large part of his youth was spent in the local football club in Esbjerg, where "the dreams were probably a little bigger than the talent", as Ivan Thyregod himself puts it.

But he loved the game, and in particular he was fascinated by how a tactic could be translated into a strong team performance. That even the best player does not win or lose alone, but as part of a team - the same goals, the same tactics and the same values require joint execution.

“It is very basic for me, and therefore I have always had a bit of a hard time reconciling myself with, for example, the nature of cycling. Here you often drive for one captain, who afterwards reaps the honor and glory. I do not always think that the team behind it gets the focus it deserves,” he says.

From running to cycling
When football dreams over time had to give way to Ivan Thyregod's professional career, it was the running shoes that took over. Partly to keep in shape, partly to "clean your head" in a busy everyday life with many working hours and family life with wife and two children.

Today, he still likes to run two to three times a week for a trip of 10 kilometers, but is set on the bike now becoming more central when he has to train up to participate in Team Rynkeby for the first time.

"I have borrowed a bicycle over the summer and have probably cycled about 500 kilometers. So I am starting to get a picture of what it takes and have made myself my first experience on a bike. I have had some problems with soreness in my neck and I really thought that I would be more sore in a completely different - more tender - place, ”he says with a smile.

"But I take the training to be ready as a challenge, and I look forward to meeting some of the other riders on the road when we get our clothes and bikes."

Briefly about Ivan Thyregod

  • Lives in Strib with his wife. The couple has two teenage children.
  • Appointed as General Manager in Eckes-Granini Denmark - Rynkeby on 1st of October 2020.
  • He has previously held the position of Commercial Director and Head of Global Commercial Excellence at Arla Foods. Previous jobs also include positions at Procter & Gamble and positions as sales and marketing director at Odense Marcipan and Kelsen Group. 


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