by Craig Spence
Member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE Werner Zedelius, and President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) sign an agreement, which extends and expands the Paralympic commitment of Allianz as an International Part.
Sir Philip Craven, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) - Paralympic
Allianz SE has been a proud partner of the IPC since 2006, and the first International Partner of the IPC from 2011 onwards, a role that incorporates global and local co-operation. During this long-standing and mutually beneficial co-operation, Allianz has helped to foster public awareness and generate a greater interest in Paralympic sport in general.
Zedelius said: 'Last year's Paralympic Games in London have clearly helped to change people's perceptions. As a committed partner of the IPC, it has been a great pleasure for Allianz to support the Movement and the athletes. By continuing and expanding our mutually beneficial partnership, Allianz is happy to help build on the success of London 2012 to further raise awareness and break down barriers.'
Craven said: 'I am delighted that Allianz and the IPC are continuing their successful partnership. It is really a passionate relationship and Allianz gets the spirit of the Paralympic Movement and its athletes. That is what makes me most happy. Over the past seven years, Allianz has been a dedicated, reliable and professional supporter of the Paralympic Movement and I am looking forward to the next four years of our co-operation. Allianz will be an important partner for the IPC to further increase the awareness for the Paralympic Movement and the Paralympic athletes.'
The current four-year agreement spans a full Paralympic Games cycle, including Allianz's support of National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) on their way to the Sochi 2014 Winter Games and Rio 2016 Games.
In addition to the global and local partnerships, Allianz will also be involved with IPC Athletics in order to create even more excitement about the Paralympic Movement. The IPC Athletics Federation organises all athletic sport disciplines and events throughout the season, including wheelchair racing, shot put, running, long jump and so forth.
Several local partnerships between Allianz subsidiaries and local NPCs are about to be signed, e.g. in Croatia, Czech Republic and Germany. Further local contracts will follow this year, so that the total number of local co-operations should be a minimum of 13.
For example, in 2012 in Croatia, Allianz brought Paralympians to elementary schools, speaking to kids about road safety, accident prevention and introduced them to athletes in wheelchairs. They explained their sport, the sports equipment and how they overcome challenges in life.
In addition, Allianz is creating awareness campaigns for Paralympic sports. Under the principle of 'Sharing Paralympic Knowledge,' information on Paralympic sport is distributed widely, trying to encourage the public to identify with the inspiring achievements of Paralympic athletes.
A series of Allianz information graphics explain the different Paralympic sports such as the rules of wheelchair basketball or how alpine skiers with a visual impairment manage to go down a ski slope at 105km/h.
Allianz also invites Paralympians to hold motivational sessions for employees, managers, agents and clients, thereby increasing the pool of Paralympic ambassadors around the world.
Allianz is currently displaying the official Paralympic photo exhibition at its head office in Munich, Germany. The 'Spirit in Motion' photo exhibition shows photos from the Paralympic Games in Atlanta 1996 to London 2012. All images were taken by the official IPC photographer Lieven Coudenys, giving an insight into the sports and showing true sporting heroes.
Please find here an interview with Sir Philip Craven, President of the IPC, about the importance of partnerships for the Paralympic Movement:
Learn more about Allianz Paralympic engagement at http://www.sponsoring.allianz.com/en/paralympics/paralympics/.