My name is Sonja Häsler. I’m 42 years old, Swiss, living in Basel. I’m a Bank Business Management Assistant by profession but working in a travel agency, speaking German, English, French, Swedish and a little bit Spanish. For me, sports have always been a kind of lifeblood and in many respects crucial in my life.
I grew up in the Bernese Oberland, in the heart of the Alps. Some people always said, that I was born with skis on my feet and a backpack on my back... Until I was 19 years old, I did first art gymnastics and then athletics as a competitive sport, but suddenly, my life changed completely: I had to give up all these sports due to a skiing accident with injuries to my legs in 1996. Unfortunately I wasn’t very lucky with my treating doctors. Exactly ten years and twenty-five surgeries later, it looked like my life would become a bit normal again. But only few months later, in June 2005 I suffered another accident in a strength training room, where a 35 kilograms metal equipment felt on my head and caused a traumatic brain trauma and spinal strain. Once again, I was at the wrong time at the wrong place! Since then I’m sitting in a wheelchair, but I know that I was lucky in this misfortune, because the consequences of the accident could have been even worse as I was very close to get quadriplegic! I have still not given up: In the same year, I started my competitive career in wheelchair badminton with my first big victory in mixed doubles in the 2010 European Championships. One year later in 2011, I became world champion in wheelchair badminton doubles!
My second passion is travelling and I’m glad to work for a Swiss travel and sport agency of the largest association of and for people with disabilities in Switzerland. If a person with a disability comes to us planning a city trip for instance to London, I can recommend hotels and provide advice based on my own experience, for example with public transportation. This service, which directly benefits other people with handicap, is something that I particularly enjoy in my work.