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Playing Ball with Blind Athletes Around the World

The TO2015 Pan Am and Para Pan Am Games wrapped up in August 2015. The athletes left and the spectators went home, but Schenker of Canada (a very proud sponsor of the Games) was still supporting the players, the teams and the host society right up until January, 2016.

The last of the games equipment and materials were delivered to their new homes, and the DB Schenker dedicated warehouse was ramped down towards the end of the year. Project complete.

Well; almost. There was one project that was still running – the Sport Equipment Fund. This fund was created by the TO2015 Organizing Committee to donate new equipment for the Para Pan Am teams from all of the competing nations.

DB Schenker was on board to get this equipment into the hands of the athletes who do not have an opportunity to get it or couldn’t afford to purchase it in their home countries. We provided the logistics and transport to link these athletes with the equipment they need to train and compete. That means more people can get involved in sports.

Goalball is a team sport designed specifically for blind athletes. Originally devised in 1946 by Hanz Lorenzen of Austria and Sepp Reindle from Germany as a means of assisting the rehabilitation of visually impaired World War II veterans. The balls are specially made with audio bells so the players can hear where the balls are while they play.

These balls are not available everywhere, but there is a Canadian supplier. We shipped the equipment to athletes in Argentina, Barbados, Bermuda, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, and Uruguay.

All together, the Games were an amazing experience, but knowing we helped deserving athletes through the Sports Equipment Fund was the icing on the cake.

Heather Richards is Manager, Fairs & Exhibitions, DB SchenkerSportsEvents, Schenker of Canada Limited.


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