Toyota and The Swedish Paralympic Committee hosted the match with The&Partnership Nordic
The Swedish Paralympic Committee, together with their sponsor Toyota, has just released a new campaign to highlight the talent in para sport. The campaign is produced by the advertising agency The&Partnership Nordics.
Five-time Swedish champion Rebecka Sternisa Bellander is aiming for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. As a part of her preparations, Toyota and the Swedish Paralympic Committee arranged a nerve-wracking wheelchair tennis match where she played against tennis legend Jonas Björkman. The results? 24-year-old Rebecka outclassed Jonas. The purpose of the match was to highlight the enormous talent that exists in para sports and spark engagement.
At 16 years old, Rebecka Sternisa Bellander was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that in just two days paralysed her from the waist down, and her life as a high school football player took an abrupt turn. Tennis became the turning point, and today she has won five Swedish championships and is ranked number 45 in the world in wheelchair tennis.
Rebecka has now set her sights on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, and to gain knowledge and experience along the journey, the 24-year-old recently met the tennis legend Jonas Björkman - and challenged him to a game of wheelchair tennis. The match, and the preparations, can be seen in three short video episodes.
“Through my journey in life, I’ve learned that nothing is impossible. I want to inspire others to dare, and to give them hope that it’s possible to find a new sport” says Rebecka Sternisa Bellander.
Jonas Björkman has won 54 titles in doubles and 6 titles in singles. He sees the meeting with Rebecka Sternisa Bellander as an important opportunity to highlight and support Swedish para-sport.
“I thank Rebecka for the lesson and acknowledge my defeat. I am truly impressed by her talent and I wish her the best of luck on her journey to the Paralympics. Hopefully many, like me, will be very inspired by her,” says Jonas Björkman.
The game between the two stars is part of Toyota's collaboration with the Swedish Paralympic Committee to inspire and increase the number of active athletes. Together, they want to contribute to creating better conditions for Swedish Paralympics through a variety of initiatives.
“With this initiative we want to show what fantastic athletes we have in para-sports today. Rebecka Sternisa Bellander is an incredible talent with a strong story about how para sport changed her life. A true inspiration that we hope will inspire others,” says Jan Casserlöv, head of marketing at Toyota in Sweden.