To take up its social responsibility in every area of sport – that goal has come increasingly into focus at Deutsche Telekom in recent times. This can also be seen is in the Group's commitment to disabled sports.
Deutsche Telekom has been involved in disabled sports since October 2006., when the Group entered into a partnership with Germany's National Paralympic Committee (DBS).
The focus of Deutsche Telekom's commitment is on providing support for the "German Paralympic Top Team." Thanks to the well-targeted funding, the Paralympic athletes were put in a much better position to prepare for their competitions. As a result of these efforts, a high proportion of the medals won by the German team at the Paralympic Games were won by members of the Top Team funded by Deutsche Telekom and Allianz. But promoting the new up-and-coming talent in disabled sports is also a priority for Deutsche Telekom. That is why Deutsche Telekom supports the Paralympic youth camp organized by the German Youth Paralympic Association (DBSJ).
"Ambition, professionalism and team spirit drive the athletes on to produce the best possible performances. We see these sportspeople as role models that we are proud to give sustained support to," says Stephan Althoff, head of Corporate Sponsoring and Events at Deutsche Telekom. "Our support enables the athletes to prepare for the Paralympic Games under optimal conditions."
In the funded project "Neue Sporterfahrung" ("New Sports Experience"), young people find out what life is like for people with disabilities. A number of training units within the realm of disabled sports strengthen team spirit and creativity, as well as mutual respect and understanding for people with disabilities.
Blind trust in your feel for the ball and following the team's commands precisely? That's the challenge of the "blind soccer" training unit for junior clubs. An exciting experience that puts all your senses to the test – a truly "new sports experience".
Deutsche Telekom supports the Blindenfußball Bundesliga, Germany’s national blind soccer league, in cooperation with the Sepp Herberger Foundation. On the nationwide match days, this New Sports Experience module draws attention to the subject of inclusion.
The New Sports Experience is also incorporating the spectacular wheelchair basketball unit in its program for 2018, to bring the fast, exciting world of shooting baskets on wheels closer to children and young people. This attractive sport shows how people deal with disabilities and strengthens team spirit.
The New Sports Experience initiative is being expanded to include a "parkour meets school" unit, to expose children and young people to another new sport.
Blind stadium experience
Soccer unites people! The "Blind stadium experience" project in the Deutsche Telekom initiative "New Sports Experience" brings vision-impaired pupils together with sighted pupils at Bundesliga soccer games, giving them a "new sports experience" that focuses on inclusion. The sighted pupils take the perspective of the vision-impaired young people for the duration of the game by donning opaque goggles. The objective is to strengthen ties and togetherness among sighted and vision-impaired young people.
Telekom and the Sepp Herberger Foundation (officially known as the "DFB-Stiftung Sepp Herberger") renewed their cooperation agreement dating from 2017.
"We have been a committed sponsor of the Blind Football Bundesliga (DBFL) since early 2017, and we are proud to be able to continue our cooperation over the next two years," stated Stephan Althoff, Head of Sponsoring at Deutsche Telekom. "Our commitment contributes significantly to this fascinating sport's development by providing financial support, helping to honor the outstanding achievements of its athletes and promoting public awareness." In addition to providing funding for the league's operations, the company plans to integrate its "New Sports Experiences" ("Neue Sporterfahrung") event format within the context of blind football matches. "Deutsche Telekom's announcement of continued support for the Blind Football Bundesliga over the next two years sends an important signal. The company's commitment highlights the athletic excellence of the sport's players, and it helps us to acquaint the public with this fascinating brand of football," explained Tobias Wrzesinski, Managing Director of the Sepp Herberger Foundation.
The Blind Football Bundesliga founded the Sepp Herberger Foundation in 2008, in cooperation with Germany's National Paralympic Committee (Deutscher Behindertensportverband) and the German association for the blind and visually impaired (Deutscher Blinden- und Sehbehindertenverband). Since 2011, the DBFL has taken a portion of its matches on the road, in a city-tour format that allows especially large numbers of people to enjoy the amazing levels of playing skill that people with disabilities can achieve. In blind football, players use a special ball that contains rattles. Simply by hearing the rattles, players know exactly where the ball is located at any time during play.