KONE, NPC Sweden announce scholarship opportunity

NPC sponsor ATG also releases commercial to support Swedish para-athletes. 23 Apr 2016
Maja Reichard of Sweden

Maja Reichard of Sweden

ⒸLuc Percival Photography
By Swedish Paralympic Committee

“We want to encourage and raise awareness of accessibility modifications that can be made in or outside sports facilities and thereby increase the opportunities for all.”

Engineering company KONE and the Swedish Paralympic Committee have announced a scholarship of SEK 50,000 (EUR 5,445) toward improving accessibility throughout Swedish sports facilities.

KONE has long worked with accessibility issues with a focus on innovative solutions that enable people to move smoothly, safely and comfortably. KONE’s ‘People Flow’ concept includes creating opportunities for people with impairments to have an active and independent life, an ambition that goes hand in hand with the Swedish Paralympic Committee’s objective. The new scholarship is open to sports clubs, and goes to the association that best shows how they could increase the opportunity for more people to engage in sport.

Improvements could for example be automatic opening door, platform lifts, ramps at the entrance or modernisation of an existing lift.

Jaakko Kaivonen, President of KONE Scandinavia, said: “Physical accessibility to sport should be obvious, but unfortunately not today. This is something that KONE and the Swedish Paralympic Committee want to change. We want to encourage and raise awareness of accessibility modifications that can be made in or outside sports facilities and thereby increase the opportunities for all, regardless of physical abilities, to be able to play sports.”

Since 1 January, KONE has been an active sponsor of the Swedish Paralympic Committee.

Johan Strid, Secretary General of the Swedish Paralympic Committee said: “We are very pleased that through the cooperation with KONE, we have the opportunity to call this scholarship. Through the scholarship, we can raise awareness about the issue surrounding accessibility, while one or more sports facilities will have the opportunity to actually make the sport accessible to all - regardless of conditions.”

The application deadline for the ‘Availability’ scholarship is 31 May. The winners are chosen by a jury consisting of representatives from KONE and the Swedish Paralympic Committee.

ATG releases commercial to support athletes

ATG, the Swedish Horse Racing Totalisator Board, has released a commercial to support Swedish para-athletes ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

“ATG has for 20 years sponsored the Swedish Paralympic Committee. This year, the company is doing something different with its cooperation by making a movie on Swedish para-athletes looking toward the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, with the theme ‘No dream is too big.’ It is in this spirit and fighting spirit both organisations have our commonalities,” Hans Sfstrom, Chef de Mission of the Swedish Paralympic Team, said.

The film, produced by Minnesota Communication with Armstrong Movies, is hoped to help increase support of para-sport throughout Sweden. It features a number of Rio-current athletes such as Jeffrey Ige, Maja Reichard and Stefan Jansson, and can be watched on YouTube.

“This is obviously very big in many ways. The fact that the ATG values Paralympians’ high performance has meant that others would dare to follow and support para-sports. When ATG now takes the plunge and uses Paralympians even in his film, I am convinced that it will help us advance,” Sfstrom said.