Pitney Bowes Ltd celebrated their annual ‘Diversity and Inclusion Culture Week’ this year by including an afternoon of wheelchair sports on Saturday 23rd October 2013.
The event was the idea of employee Wendy Merry who (as a Trustee of PACT for Autism) is a partner within the group ‘All Abilities Sports and Leisure Services’. Through links with this group, local athletes Richard Chiassaro (2012 Paralympic World Cup 100m Gold Medallist) and Anne Wafula-Strike (2007 3 x Silver Medals for Track & Field in the US Paralympic Championships) were contacted and delighted to get involved and an have opportunity to promote their sport with the local firm.
Derek Freeman (Business Supplies Manager) and Enza Burgio (International Sales Trainer) organized teams from the new Pitney Bowes Ltd sales office in Harlow, to visit Mark Hall Sports Centre and take part in wheelchair track events coached by Anne, and wheelchair basketball coached by Richard and his Team. Derek explained ‘the idea of this is obviously to have fun, but to also help understand life in a wheelchair and to help appreciate the efforts that disabled people in wheelchairs go through on a daily basis to lead normal lives’.
The afternoon was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by all taking part and the many family members spectating. ‘All Abilities’ Chair Neil Mann and Sports Officer Helen Offord attended the event which promoted the Group’s important work at creating opportunities for everyone to access and enjoy sport. The Group’s aims include a project led by Richard of setting up a local wheelchair basketball league for disabled and able bodied people to team up and compete.
Derek presented Richard and Anne with Thank You gifts and said ‘It was a great honour to work with such professional sports people….we had a great day full of competitive camaraderie’.
The event also raised much needed funds of £600 for the All Abilities Sports and Leisure Services group, which will contribute towards repairs of sports wheelchairs.