To change perceptions about disabilities, Europ Assistance becomes the official partner of 13 para-athletes worldwide

June 17, 2024
In line with the values carried by its motto, 'You Live, We Care', Europ Assistance is proud to announce the deployment of its “ThinkAbility” program through a partnership with 13 international para-athletes to help change perceptions about disabilities. Consistent with its mission as a leading international assistance and insurance provider, this initiative is the flagship engine of a broader 'Disability Inclusion Journey' program aiming at raising awareness and supporting different disability issues.

A long-term global partnership with 13 international para-athletes

As a responsible employer and as part of its program called “ThinkAbility”, Europ Assistance is the proud sponsor of a group of 13 top-level para-athletes from 9 countries around the world. The Group supports their sporting ambitions and educational or professional projects through funding as well as external and employee advocacy and followership.

With its slogan “Look up, See Beyond”, the ThinkAbility program seeks to invite as many people as possible to adopt a different and inclusive view of disabilities and to be inspired by the extraordinary journeys of 13 exceptional athletes.

Supporting its 13 para-thletes is a long-term engagement: Europ Assistance will deploy a series of unifying actions throughout the year, giving the Group’s 12,000 employees the opportunity to be fully involved in this project. To start with, 7 athletes met with the top 100 leaders of the Group during a special event in Paris on 29th of May to share their disability journeys and their ambitions. Additionally, from June 10th to 14th, the Group has launched its ThinkAbility Week, during which festivities are organized across all its entities, celebrating the 13 para-athletes and debating on disability inclusion.

Europ Assistance supports 13 para-athletes

Austria: Florian Brungraber (triathlon); Belgium: Man-Kei To (badminton) and Wim De Paepe (triathlon); France: Benjamin Lacroix-Desmazes (sitting volleyball) and Alexis Bellanger (swimming); Germany: Jakob Klinge (cyclism) and Lindy Ave (athletics); Italy: Valeria Pappalardo (swimming); Portugal: Carla Oliveira (boccia) and Carina Paim (athletics); Spain: Iñigo Llopis (swimming); Thailand: Orawan Kaising (athletics); USA: Brittni Mason (athletics).

Europ Assistance is proud to be the official partner of 13 elite para-athletes from 9 countries. These champions, each excelling in their sport and category, form a unique international team that we support as a Group.

A global program in favor of disability inclusion

“ThinkAbility” is a flagship initiative in the broader Europ Assistance’s “Disability Inclusion Journey”, a program initiated in 2020 and aimed at addressing health and disability issues.

Within this framework, the Group has notably implemented dedicated support for individuals with disabilities, from the hiring process to their integration in the company, for example by adapting their workspace and by providing specific training for the managers supervising them.

Starting today until September 15th, Europ Assistance is launching another major action: a charity run open to all company employees. For every 10,000 steps recorded by a dedicated application, Europ Assistance will donate 1 euro to the Wings for Life foundation. Based in Austria and the United Kingdom, Wings for Life supports nearly 300 research projects in 20 countries, contributing to concrete solutions for spinal cord injuries. The goal of the race is set at 40,000 kilometers, symbolically equivalent to the Earth’s circumference. Through this initiative, Europ Assistance is committed to encouraging regular physical activity while supporting research for a cause the company is dedicated to.

“As a para-athlete, my big goal is to take part in the Paris Paralympic Games, and I’m currently training very hard. The support provided by Europ Assistance is a great opportunity for my sporting career. Thanks to this, I can realize my dream of achieving high-level performances in athletics with greater peace of mind” affirmed Lindy Ave, athletics, from Germany.

“What am I most proud of today? I think it’s to be part of the France sitting volleyball team and to be its captain. We are preparing for the Paralympic Games with a lot of enthusiasm. […] My biggest challenge is to balance my family and my professional lives with my life as a high-level athlete. Through financial support, Europ Assistance allows me to free up time to train for competitions.” said Benjamin Lacroix-Desmazes, sitting volleyball, from France.

We chose to support para-athletes to highlight those who, through their resilience, determination, and team spirit, demonstrate that success is accessible to everyone. We take great pride in contributing to the positive association between performance and disability. This commitment is all the more significant as it resonates with our mission of assistance,” concluded Virginie Babinet, Europ Assistance Group CEO Travel, Sponsor of our ThinkAbility program.