The Slovenian Paralympic Committee launched a campaign to showcase how sport can be the bridge between people with a disability and society, as it generates excitement for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Slovenian Para athletes are the stars of the ‘Sport Spirit Doesn’t Pick a Body’ campaign, which was launched at the end of 2020. The music video, directed by Enya Belak, also features rapper Rok Terkaj and shows that Para athletes are no different than their able-bodied counterparts. The song “This Tempo” is the new Slovenian Para sport anthem, and is also presented in sign language.
“‘Sport spirit doesn’t pick a body’ is a message that transcends all limitations,” explained Belak. “It doesn’t define an athlete as an able-bodied or disabled, it doesn’t differentiate between sexes, races, ages. The main goal was to present Para athletes as top-performance athletes who are no different from non-disabled professional athletes when it comes to their energy, focus and dedication.”
Nine athletes are part of the video: Lena Gabrscek and Senta Jeler (sitting volleyball); Milan Slapnicar (wheelchair basketball); Matej Ledinek (goalball); Veselka Pevec (shooting Para sport); Gregor Habe (cycling); Alen Kobilica (triathlon); Luka Trtnik (table tennis); and Darko Duric (swimming) with the coaches Roman Kejzar and David Oresnik.
Belak revealed that the filming was challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they found a way to make it work. But for the athletes, it was a good experience and opportunity to work together on the project, especially in a time of crisis.
“There was a lot of laughter and the atmosphere was very positive, I myself felt really well there,” said Senta Jeler. “People must see we’re capable of anything and not at all as different as we might seem at times.”
Damijan Lazar, President of NPC Slovenia, said: “Sport is always setting new limits to what is possible and giving a chance for inclusion to everyone in their own adapted way. We are certain that sport is very significant for the disabled. Not only for competing, but also as a means for their inclusion into the broader society. It is our belief that sport is one of the bridges to the socialisation of the disabled.”