ENGIE and the Paralympic Movement continue their partnership
The longstanding partnership between ENGIE and the Belgian Paralympic Committee has been extended for a further four years. On May 20, on the occasion of the UCI Paracycling World Cup (Ostend, May 18-21), ENGIE and the Belgian Paralympic Committee concluded a new agreement which cements their cooperation with view to the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020.
2017 is a special year for ENGIE and the Belgian Paralympic Committee (BPC) as it marks the 15th anniversary of their ongoing collaboration. ENGIE, which was one of the first private-sector partners of the Paralympic Movement, firmly believes in the importance of the Paralympic Movement in facilitating access to sports for people with disabilities. Thanks to ENGIE’s abiding support, the BPC and its member associations, Parentee-Psyos and the French-Speaking Handisport League (LFH), have been able to improve their logistic organisation as well as their preparation for different editions of the Paralympic Games. Thus, for example, the Paralympic athletes were equipped for the first time with the Belgian team’s full outfit ahead of the Beijing Games.
In 2009, ENGIE added a new dimension to the partnership: a programme for integrating Paralympic athletes into the world of work was put in place to bridge the gap between the job market and their sporting career. A joint agreement providing for the recruitment of Paralympic athletes by different ENGIE entities was signed with the BPC, the two regional leagues, the State Secretary for people with disabilities and the Regional Ministers for Sports. As a result, for example, a sportsperson was recruited to N-Allo’s IT team, of which he has been a member since 2009. He practises goalball, a Paralympic team-sport for blind or partially-sighted people.
The partnership focuses on providing training and support for young sportspeople with disabilities. This is why in 2011 ENGIE created the ENGIE Paralympic Talent of the Year Trophy, which is awarded ever year to an outstanding sportsperson. Winners of the trophy include table tennis Paralympic champion Laurens Devos and cyclist Tim Celen. The latter will be sporting the world champion’s ‘maillot’ at the start line of the UCI Paracycling World Cup in Ostend.
Philippe Van Troeye, CEO of ENGIE Benelux, highlights ENGIE’s commitment: “We were one of the first partners of the Belgian Paralympic Movement. Cooperation between us dates back several years. We attach a great deal of importance to the emphasis the BPC and its two member leagues place on the practice of sports by people with disabilities. This emphasis is fully in line with our values as regards social integration and reintegration. Since the start of the partnership, more than 7,000 sportspeople have received support, and I’m delighted that the extension of the partnership will enable us to support even more!”
Anne d’Ieteren, who is starting her third term as President of both the BPC and the LFH, is glad to be able to rely once again on ENGIE’s support: “It is a bit like a marriage with many happy times but the Movement has experienced some difficult moments too – but this has only strengthened the bond between us. We are proud that ENGIE regularly congratulates us on the social cohesiveness and enthusiasm we generate and the added value we contribute to their brand. We are also proud of the continued growth of the Belgian Paralympic Committee, which is today a major sports leagues in our country.”
Key figures and events
- 2017: 15th anniversary of the partnership between ENGIE, BPC, Parentee-Psylos and the French-Speaking Handisport League (LFH)
- Extension of the ENGIE-BPC partnership until the Tokyo Paralympic Games
- 7,000 sportspeople have received support since the beginning of the partnership
- 11 medals won at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016 and 7 medals won at the London Games in 2012
- Every year since 2012, award of the ENGIE Talent of the Year Trophy to a young athlete
- Laurens De Vos, ENGIE Talent of the Year 2014, won the gold medal for table tennis at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016
- Recruitment of 6 top athletes, including one who is still active, to the ENGIE Group
- Participation of ENGIE employees in BPC actions and activities
ENGIE press contact:
Anne-Sophie HUGÉ (fr)
Tel.: +32 2 518 60 20
Geetha KEYAERT (nl)
Tel.: +32 2 518 65 04
Belgian Paralympic Committee press contact:
Tel.: +32 2 474 51 50