The city of Tel Aviv, Israel, recently saw the world premiere of ŠKODA’s bold new compact car model – SCALA. The name is derived from the Latin word for ‘stairs’ or ‘ladder’ and signifies the design, performance, and thought shift, or ‘next step,’ in ŠKODA’s compact car segment.
Through the name, we also wish to celebrate three exceptional stories that, in fact, inspired the name itself. All these protagonists have one thing in common – despite all the challenges life threw at them, they weren’t afraid to push their luck and take the next step. Courage moved them forward.
Find out how one 16-year-old boy followed his passion, became a national rally champion without a driver’s licence, and sparked a successful career for himself. Learn how one fierce little girl’s dream to get on an ice hockey team took her to another country at 11 years of age, where she became the third most skilled player in an otherwise all-boys team. Read all about how one athlete decided to try something new, took up cycling at 30, and just four years later, is now trying to fulfil her dream of reaching the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Scroll down to meet Kalle Rovanperä, Nóra Egri, and Isabelle Beckers, just three of the heroes out there who inspired us, the SCALA, and shall go on to inspire many more.
Isabelle Beckers’ story is brimming with courage and fraught with lots of hard work. This stunning, ever-smiling cyclist from Belgium left her job when she was 30, determined to pursue a career in professional cycling. Five years since the bravest decision in her life, she is racing in the World Cup and is keen to make it to the next Summer Olympics.
In the beginning, needless to say, she had to overcome a lot of pitfalls faced by professionals: “When you’re road cycling, you have to keep up the pace with the others, otherwise you’ll tail off and that’s the end of the race for you. You also have to learn to eat and drink properly because otherwise you’ll find yourself in so much trouble there’s no way forward,” explains Isabelle.
When did she learn to follow her dreams so steadfastly? Why did it take her until she was 27 to discover cycling? And how is she gearing up for her biggest challenge, a shot at the Tokyo Olympics? Read Isabelle’s whole story to find out.
Classical music has Mozart; world rallying has Kalle Rovanperä. Only just eighteen, this young driver began fascinating the world long before he became an adult. It’s in his genes. His father, Harri Rovanperä, is a former top-flight rally driver. He is Kalle’s biggest role model. “In a way, he was also my first teacher. He explained to me that a car has a steering wheel, an accelerator and a clutch, and then told me to get going,” laughs the talented young Finn.
Cars are his passion. At home in Finland, he even has a whole room in the garage set aside for his rally tyres. “People tend to think that all Finns are cross-country skiers and anglers. Not me, I’m a driver,” smiles Kalle. He started driving when he was six. He took charge of his first rally car at eight. And when he was just 16 he became the youngest ever national rally champion in Latvia.
How could he triumph in rallies before he even passed his driving test? And why was a teenager from Finland racing in Latvia? Read Kalle Rovanperä’s whole story at ŠKODA Storyboard, where you’ll also discover what he describes as the best feeling in the world.
Books on overcoming the odds are two a penny. Blue-eyed Nóra Egri, though, hasn’t read any of them. For one thing, she doesn’t have the time. For another, she’s only eleven. But she has already garnered so much experience she could start writing a book like that herself – she adores ice-hockey and her passion for this sport is not even diminished by the fact that she has to play with the boys.
“I really love ice-hockey. So much. And spaghetti, too!” Nóra laughs. Then she glances at her mum and quickly adds: “And my family as well.” It is her mother she can thank for being able to pursue her dream, even after moving from Budapest to Belfast, the heart of Northern Ireland. “My very first thought was whether they have ice rinks there and a good enough team for Nóra to join,” recalls her mother, Adrienn.
What are the sort of things Nóra had to cope with after moving to another country? Why did she have to take a taxi to practice sessions with her big sister for several months? And why does she want to head off to play ice-hockey in Canada or Russia in the next few years? Read Nóra’s whole story to find out.