Thursday, 25. September 2014
Passion for Paralympics
DRS and Ottobock announce joint engagement
The German Wheelchair Association (Deutscher Rollstuhl-Sportverband, DRS) and Paralympics Sponsor Ottobock announced to be treading a common future path. The joint engagement does not only apply to the support of National A-Teams, but also the technical development of sports wheelchairs suitable for basketball – leisure and competitive – for disabled people. In the context of a press conference – held on September 25, 2014 in Düsseldorf – the DRS and Ottobock explained why the newly established partnership means more than just mere sponsoring.
“Due to a complex league system with more than 200 teams, the German national teams reach an audience of millions”, states Nicolai Zeltinger, National Team coach. “In order to be this successful the quality of our materials is incredibly important. That’s why all DRS National Teams will be equipped by Ottobock from now on.”
In return the members of the National Teams will support Ottobock technician in their quest for continuous improvements. “Sport wheelchairs have to be perfectly adapted to the players’ anatomy in order to best compensate their disabilities”, says Annika Zeyen who was awarded the gold medal during the 2012 London Paralympics as part of ladies’ wheelchair basketball team. “Working closely with the technicians is therefore crucial for us”.
“Promoting sport for disabled people means a lot more to us than just a sponsoring involvement. It is inseparably linked to our company – it has actually become part of our DNA”, states Christin Gunkel, Managing Director Marketing at Ottobock. “It is our objective to encourage as many as possible to engage in sports activities.”
Fresh ideas serving to push forward both athletes and technicians will help the cause of competitive and leisure sports. The precise adjustment of the wheelchair to the athletes’ individual needs is decisive for the success in terms of title and medal victory.
“We are not only talking competitive sports here, but most of all recreational sports” says Norbert Aumann, Managing Director of Ottobock Germany. “What makes wheelchair basketball special is the fact that there are disabled and non-disabled players competing on the same team. That is what I consider social inclusion in its purest form. Sport is made to unite people”.
“With over 650.000 members our association is considered very successful”, reports Friedhelm Julius Beucher, President of the German Disabled Association. “A success that is based on the performance of our athletes”, he adds. “Ottobock has become one indispensable part of the Paralympic Games. It is hard to imagine the Games taking place without the involvement and technical support provided by Ottobock.