Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) and the South Africa Sports Association for the Physically Disabled (SASAPD) have partnered over the last three years to host the annual National Championships. The games are considered to be a good platform for nurturing promising and ambitious athletes with physical disabilities and visual impairment. Furthermore, the games have historically provided the country’s top athletes with disabilities, a birthplace for their dreams and, in this paralympic year, it serves as a centre of excellence.
Earlier this year, the SASAPD Games took place in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) during April. Part of the championship’s proceedings involves an element where the top-performing school gets to win the big prize sponsored by Toyota South Africa Motors – a brand-new Toyota Quantum 15 seater.
The winning school announced after the national championships that Martie du Plessis High School’s Sports Club, Ad-Lucem. The sports club gets an opportunity to move and be part of the mobility solution that Toyota firmly believes in.
Bringing the joy and freedom of movement to all “At Toyota we want to create mobility that is valued and cherished. Toyota is committed to providing mobility services and transportation for all people. As we push towards a future mobility society, we remain committed to the consistent production of ever-better cars, to create mobility that is valued and cherished,” says Glenn Crompton, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Toyota South Africa.
We know that the team at Martie du Plessis will make good use of the Toyota Quantum, ensuring that the future para-sports stars are able to move around, get to competitions safely and on time, and of course, start their impossible,” adds Crompton.
Headmaster of Martie du Plessis High School, Francois van Heerden, believes that “the only disability in life is a bad attitude”. It was this optimism that saw the school being awarded a new Toyota Quantum.
The Bloemfontein-based school was named the recipient of the prize at the 2021 Toyota SASAPD National championships in April, and today received the new Quantum from Toyota South Africa.
Among the excited pupils, dignitaries from Toyota South Africa were joined by members of the SASAPD board. This is the second consecutive year that Toyota has made a contribution to a school in need since the partnership began in 2019. Last year, the SASAPD Games were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
SASAPD manager of high performance, Jan Wahl, says: “The bus will go a long way in helping to ensure that we have Paralympic stars in the future. Access and transport is a key area for schools and places that look after people with physical disabilities and giving Martie du Plessis wheels, helps to keep the children moving and give more the chance to do just that.”
Excitement from the sport club
The sports clubs of the school, Ad-Lucem, have never had a bus of their own and previously relied on the school transport to assist learners who took part in sports such as boccia, athletics, cycling, swimming and CP football. Despite the challenges, the most recent Provincial team included 12 learners.
Ad Lucem listed the immediate impact the Toyota Quantum bus will have said, “learners will be able to attend the different sporting codes after school knowing that there is transport available to take them home after practice. The different sporting codes will have the opportunity to take learners to different schools and venues to give learners maximum exposure to games and training facilities.
“Furthermore, teachers will no longer need to transport learners with their private vehicles. More learners will be able to attend which means the number of participants in the different sporting codes will grow and more learners will get the opportunity to be part of the Championships for the physically disabled. This will ensure a better future for many of our physically disabled learners in Martie du Plessis School.”
Start your impossible
This is indeed a true “Start your Impossible” story. Toyota’s “Start Your Impossible” was the brand’s first global campaign, conceptualised in 2018 to reflect the Olympic and Paralympic spirit of encouragement, challenge and progress. Created in honour of Toyota’s shift to a mobility company and to honour its long global partnership with the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, it is an impassioned call to action which is designed to create a more inclusive and sustainable society in which every individual is encouraged to reach for and achieve his or her personal best.