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Toyota Campaign Helps Para-Athletes Get Opportunities They Deserve



The&Partnership Nordics aims for athletes with disabilities to get more societal support and attention

Toyota Campaign Helps Para-Athletes Get Opportunities They Deserve

Athletes with disabilities still struggle to get even a fraction of the societal support and attention that their non-disabled counterparts get, and that’s something Toyota and The&Partnership Nordics want to start correcting with their newest Beyond Zero campaign, featuring multiple paralympic gold-medal winner Leo-Pekka Tähti.

Children with disabilities and even professional para-athletes often have to depend solely on the support of their families and sometimes their elderly parents, to be able to compete at the most professional levels of paralympic sports. 

To bring awareness to the career long hardships of athletes with disabilities, Toyota Finland has launched a campaign featuring a touching letter from 1996 written by a then 13-year-old disabled high school boy. In this letter the boy asks for a grant for his family to be able to afford the high transportation costs related to his sport. This boy, Leo-Pekka Tähti, would after receiving this grant then go on to become a multiple time paralympic gold medal winner, and a long-time brand ambassador for Toyota Finland.

“We at Toyota want to build a world where everyone has an equal opportunity to move”, says Mikko Kekäläinen, general manager at Toyota Auto Finland. 

In the campaign, spearheaded by a brand film created by The&Partnership Nordics and produced by Skål Helsinki, Toyota urges young athletes with disabilities to tell their own story and to apply for a similar grant, funded by Toyota Finland.

In the film, we see a number of kids with special needs recite Leo-Pekka’s original letter, highlighting the fact that disabled athletes still have a very hard time affording a career in professional sports. The film shows Leo-Pekka Tähti, one of the most successful athletes in Finnish sporting history, doing laps on an empty track at the iconic grounds of the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, only to be joined and passed by the next generation of paralympic stars.

“There’s definitely a strong emotional element in Leo-Pekka’s original letter. A young child’s determination to get support for his family to be able to practise a sport he loves, is touching and a great building block to build a campaign around”, says Dan Rönnqvist, strategy & business development director at The&Partnership Nordics.

Dan adds that there is a growing need for inclusivity in today’s world. In Finland alone, there are over 700,000 people with either a temporary or permanent disability, which is about 15% of the entire population. The opportunities and support young para-athletes get are also far from equal to those that their non-disabled peers get.

Toyota Finland has been a sponsor of the Finnish Olympic and Paralympic Committee since 2017, as their long-term vision is to provide ever better mobility for all. With their brand platform, Beyond Zero, Toyota’s mission is to make sure that everyone in society gets to move forward with no one left behind, which is also what this campaign intends to do.

Watch the film here


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Categories: Awareness, Corporate, Social and PSAs

The&Partnership, Tue, 13 Dec 2022 17:14:20 GMT