E4Exec hosted a Global Sports and Inclusions Day at Mandeville Indoor Sports Centre on August 17.
E4Exec has an Athletes Career Programme where they transition athletes from the field of play to the field of work.
This is for abled and disabled athletes.
“E4Enabled is a part of the business that allows persons with disabilities to fit into the mainstream of the work environment. This division is run by an ex Paralympian basketball player, Justin Govender,” said Melanie Williams, marketing manager.
The day allowed staff members from E4Exec to interact with wheelchair basketball players and also play basketball while in a wheelchair.
“We hope this experience can help our staff members understand the challenges athletes with disabilities face and share the experience with clients who can understand that a person with a disability has something to contribute to their businesses,” said Puvasha Thevan, human resource manager.
She said E4Exec has partnered with the International Olympic Committee to deliver and promote the athletes’ career programme.
“The programme started in 2005 with collaboration from the Adecco Group and IOC.
“After 10 years the programme has delivered over 28 000 athletes from 185 countries,” said Thevan.
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She said athletes with disabilities have an interest that is why they help with the transition from play to work.
“We aim to understand who they are as athletes in order to understand where their passion and strengths are and ideally put them where they can enjoy the work,” explained Thevan.
She said companies need to give athletes opportunities because they can be a positive contribution to their companies.
“Working with athletes we have discovered that they have a significant impact and value to add to any corporate or professional work environment due to their winning attributes, traits and skill set and that can be an investment to a company,” said Thevan.
Wheelchair Basketball South Africa chief executive officer Charles Saunders said he is happy about the E4Exec programme because it allows players to look beyond basketball.
“Having an enabled body person doing what a disabled body person do on a daily basis gives you an understanding of what they go through on a daily basis. It also creates respect for one another because you will start to think twice before parking in a disabled parking,” said Saunders.
He said this programme will educate people and change how people look at people with disability.
“Once you sit on a wheelchair as an abled body person you realise how disabled you are because it takes a lot of mental and physical strength to play wheelchair basketball,” said Saunders.
E4Exec staff members played against each while in wheelchairs and the orange team took first place and the white team came second.