Second UK Aufguss Championships to take place in Northern Ireland

Galgorm Resort in Ballymena will host the event from April 22-24, 2024


By Wendy Golledge

24 January 2024

The second UK Aufguss Championships are set to take place at the Galgorm Resort in Northern Ireland this spring, from April, 22-24.

The championships are the brainchild of British aufguss trainer Deborah Carr and Lasse Eriksen, vice-president of Aufguss WM.

Aufguss is an ancient European sauna ritual that involves infusing essential oils into the sauna air, creating a sensory journey for participants.

Man waving towels in a sauna
The UK Aufguss Championships 2023 was won by Galgorm's sauna master, Pavel Poliacek

The second UK Aufguss Championships

The second UK Aufguss Championships will feature competitors from around the country, who will demonstrate their mastery of the art of sauna ceremony. Each will compete for the title of Aufguss Champion and a place at the Aufguss VM World Championships, which will be held in Holland in September.

This event promises to showcase the epitome of sauna culture and offer a unique, immersive. experience.

“I’m really excited about this year's event. It’s a great platform to elevate the popularity of the sauna experience, and a fantastic opportunity for participants to showcase their amazing creativity, passion and expertise.”

Deborah Carr

UK Aufguss lead, Anada Spa and Wellness

“From traditional techniques to innovative approaches, the second Aufguss Championships will undoubtedly push the boundaries of what is possible within the world of sauna rituals,” said Deborah Carr, UK Aufguss lead, Anada Spa and Wellness.

Robert Zidek, who is the world champion, and his wife Eliska (former Czech champion) will be mentoring the UK aufguss team.

They will appear at the competition as guest aufguss masters.

Watch team performances from last year’s event here.

Man and woman performing sauna ritual waving towels
World Aufguss Champion Robert Zidek and his wife Eliska, who is former Czech Champion

Bringing sauna traditions to the UK

Galgorm Resort is home of the current UK Champion, Pavel Poliacek, who won at Rudding Park Spa last year.

Jena Robinson, from Rudding Park Spa, came second and Renato Neto, also from Rudding Park, came third. The event was opened by aufguss veteran Lay Pang Ong.

Tara Moore, head of spa operations at Galgorm, said: “Together with Aufguss UK, we are keen to raise the awareness of the ritual not just within the industry but to spa-goers throughout the country.

“We have been offering aufguss to our guests for several years now and are delighted to be hosting this prestigious event.”

The heat will be turned up for the championships in April

Supporting the the aufguss movement

Aufguss has long been popular with spa-goers in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries and the South Tyrol. To read about last year’s Challenge, as reported in European Spa magazine, click here.

European Spa’s founder, Sarah Camilleri, said: “I am never happier than when my sauna hat is on! European Spa is proud to support the grassroots efforts being made by spa leaders across Europe to bring the magic of aufguss to the wider world.

“Aufguss is a trend to watch. Delivering the transformative power of steam and heat and the soulful service of the dedicated sauna master, it requires skill, dedication and commitment.

“The European Spa team and I would love to see more UK spas competing this year. It really is a wonderful way to elevate talent in your team and create some magic in your spa.”

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