We’ve been supporting Austrian sportsmen and women for many years now and love following their careers and sharing their triumphs. We can be truly proud of our boys and girls this year, as they’ve really achieved a lot. We sponsor our sportspeople with delicious Verival Breakfast products and products from our Verival Sport range to provide them with optimum nutrition for their sporting endeavours. In this third and final instalment we tell you a bit more about some of our sportswomen and men and ask them to look back at the past year’s achievements. Today, in part 3, we’d like to introduce the following athletes: Lena Plesiutschnig, Katharina Schützenhöfer, Helene Fruhwirth, Franziska Kofler and Mario Käppeli.


Lena Plesiutschnig & Katharina Schützenhöfer

Brief biog

Schützenhöfer/Plesiutschnig beach volleyball team

Katharina Schützenhöfer
22.09.1993

Lena Plesiutschnig
04.10.1993

How long have you been doing your sport, and when did you turn professional?

We both used to play indoor volleyball for many years before taking up beach volleyball at the age of 14. Until we were 18 we both played indoor  as well as beach volleyball, but then we decided to move to Vienna and play professional beach volleyball all year round. Beach volleyball is a highly demanding sport. Besides mastering all the basic elements of volleyball you also have to be immensely athletic to move around quickly and economically on the sand. Tactics and an ability to read the game are also very important, which makes our sport extra attractive and complex.

What have been your major successes this season?

This year was our best to date on the international World Tour circuit. We earned ourselves a place among the world’s top 25 and had plenty to celebrate. We came 9th at the 5* tournament in Vienna, which was a strong showing, and took four further 9th places in other 4* tournaments. At the European Championships we came ninth, and at the World Championships 17th. We also won the Austrian Championships and the 1* tournament in Baden.

And what were your major challenges this year?

Our major challenges of the season were definitely the many tournaments, which required us to pull off top performances week after week. From early January to late September we played all over the world, often fighting off jetlag after travelling long-haul, but we managed to overcome all the trials and tribulations and generally gave a really good account of ourselves.

Looking ahead, what’s in the pipeline for the coming year?

Qualification for the Olympics enters the final stages in the first half of the year, with points to be accrued up to June 2020. Our major goal is to earn a place at the Olympics. Another highlight, as last year, will be the 5* tournament in Vienna.   There’s another 4* tournament in Mexico in mid-November, which will be followed by several months of training. The 2020 season is due to kick off in April.  

Favourite Verival product

Lena: Bircher Porridge
Kathi: Sport Porridge Chocolate-Banana

beachvolleyball-team


Helene Fruhwirth

Brief biog

My name is Helene Valerie Fruhwirth, I’m 36 and I come from Mödling, just outside Vienna. I’d describe myself as an all-rounder. I race with the E-Bike Hero Team, and I’m a downhill mountain biker and mountain bike coach. My great loves are my career and my dog.

What was it about this particular sport that attracted you?

I got into mountain biking because professional snowboarding was too cold for me in the long run (hahaha). I also enjoy being in the mountains, but in summer rather than winter. I love to just get up and go, be it a mountain bike tour from my doorstep or a trip in the camper van with my dog. My sport is always taking me to incredibly beautiful places, where I meet new like-minded people and share the thrill of zooming down the mountain taking every jump 🙂

How long have you been doing your sport, and when did you turn professional?

I took up mountain biking in 1998, and I entered a race and won it in my very first year. I wanted to turn professional from then on. Hmm, let me think: I’d say I’ve been competing professionally for 14 years and racing for 21. Wow, that’s a really long time.

What have been your major successes this season?

This year was a good racing season for me. I earned a place on the podium in 10 out of 13 races and won four of them. I also won the Austria Gravity Overall Cup and qualified for the Pumptrack World Championships. 

And what were your major challenges this year?

From the sporting point of view it was the Austrian Enduro Championships. I’m not a big fan of uphill riding, I still don’t understood why anyone would find that fun (haha). Well, that race was about 1,800 metres of ascent over 55km. I didn’t really know what to make of those numbers, and I thought to myself that it couldn’t be THAT bad. That’s where you were wrong, Helene! The experience taught me that it’s really quite a lot, and that race absolutely took me to my limits. But would I do it again? Yep. 

Looking ahead, what’s in the pipeline for the coming year?

Phew, good question. I want to do some work on my Mercedes Sprinter, that’ll keep me busy for a while. And once spring comes I’ll be heading southwards in it to get fit ready for the start of the season. During the season my life consists of lots of racing, lots of coaching, lots of exciting projects with my sponsors. Festivals and camps. As ever, I’m really looking forward to it! 

Favourite Verival product

Heritage Grains Muesli with Berries

Helene Fruhwirth


Franziska Kofler

Brief biog

Franziska Kofler, 22, mountain climber

What was it about this particular sport that attracted you?

I decided to take up mountain climbing because it’s so varied and it lets you spend a lot of time in the great outdoors. I actually started out in competitive athletics, where I constantly had to prove myself in competition over a period of seven years; mountain climbing, on the other hand, is a sport I do for my own pleasure. I don’t have a training schedule or competitions to put me under pressure, and no coach telling me what to do: that’s what I enjoy most of all.

How long have you been doing your sport, and when did you turn professional?

Even as a child I spent a lot of time in the mountains, but I only took up mountain climbing 2 years ago.

In a sentence: why are you so passionate about your sport?

Mountain climbing is my great passion because it allows me to burn off physical energy while calming my mind at the same time.

In a sentence: what do the mountains mean to you?

For me the mountains are home, adventure, peace and calm.

And what were your major challenges this year?

My biggest challenges this year were a winter ascent of the East Arête of the Wilde Leck and the Canalone Neri couloir on Cima Tosa in extremely windy conditions with gusts of up to 90 km/h.

Looking ahead, what’s in the pipeline for the coming year?

Actually I always plan my tours on the spur of the moment depending on conditions, weather and other variables; but my wishlist of destinations is very long indeed, so I certainly won’t be bored 😉

Favourite Verival product

Sport Porridge Chocolate-Banana , Date Pralines

Franziska Kofler


Mario Käppeli

Brief biog

My name is Mario Kaeppeli. I’m actually from Switzerland, but I lived in Innsbruck for 10 years before moving to the Dolomites in South Tyrol in summer 2019. I’ve been a professional snowboarder for 15 years, though for the past year and a half I’ve been focussing more on mountain climbing and photography.

What was it about this particular sport that attracted you?

Ever since I was a little boy I’ve been drawn to the mountains… and that’s how I got into snowboarding and freeriding. Being able to combine that with mountain climbing and photography is awesome.

How long have you been doing your sport?

I started snowboarding when I was 9 years old… but I didn’t really get into freeriding until I was 22, before that I tended to stick to the park.

In a sentence: why are you so passionate about your sport?

For me, nothing beats snowboarding down a slope covered in fresh snow as the sun sets over the mountains.

In a sentence: what do the mountains mean to you?

All I think about 24/7 is which mountain I want to climb next 😀

And what were your major challenges this year?

I’ve had a series of operations (9 in total) on my right knee, the most recent in 2018. Since then it’s been rather a struggle and I’ve been having constant physiotherapy on my knee. But it’s getting better all the time 🙂

Looking ahead, what’s in the pipeline for the coming year?

I’ve got a major film project planned. It’s all about showing the beauty of the mountains at sunrise and sunset and I’m hugely looking forward to it!

Favourite Verival product

Porridge, Date Pralines

Mario-Kaeppeli



We’re really proud of what Lena Plesiutschnig & Katharina Schützenhöfer, Helene Fruhwirth, Franziska Kofler and Mario Käppeli have achieved this year and wish them all continued success in the year to come!