PUSHING PEOPLE FURTHER
Toyota makes an impassioned call to action
Toyota’s “Start Your Impossible” was the brand’s first global campaign, conceptualised in 2018 to reflect the Olympic and Paralympic spirit of encouragement, challenge and progress. Created in honour of Toyota’s shift to a mobility company and to honour its long global partnership with the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees, it is an impassioned call to action which is designed to create a more inclusive and sustainable society in which every individual is encouraged to reach for and achieve his or her personal best.
“Mobility for All” is a Toyota philosophy which aims to transform the way people move throughout the world and, in the process, create solutions to the mobility barriers that limit human potential. These solutions include optimised public transportation systems for large cities.
Toyota, says Glenn Crompton, vice president for Sales and Marketing at Toyota South Africa, is committed to supporting the creation of a more inclusive and sustainable society in which everyone can challenge their impossible. “We aim to create a peaceful society without discrimination through sports and we are committed to creating a sustainable society through mobility.”
The company is the worldwide Official Mobility Partner of both the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee. Crompton says
Toyota seeks to push people further. That aim, he adds, includes working with the Olympic and Paralympic Committees to help athletes reach their dreams and unleash human potential through the power of movement.
As part of its “Start Your Impossible” campaign, Toyota has partnered with three athletes to act as its ambassadors. “The three selected ambassadors — all of whom demonstrate the values of humility, hard work and tenacity in the face of adversity — all play a different role in terms of making a difference in society,” reveals Crompton.
Ntando Mahlangu has been hailed as
“the one to watch” at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. A Toyota brand ambassador, he espouses the values of hard work and tenacity in the face of adversity. Born with hemimelia, he was confined to a wheelchair until the age of 10.
After both his legs were amputated he was fitted with his first set of prosthetic blades, courtesy of the Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund. The gift of mobility changed his whole life and just four years later he had developed into a world-class para-athlete, winning silver at the Rio 2016 Paralympics at the tender age of 14. He is passionate about helping children face challenges similar to his own and inspires them to overcome the obstacles they face in their own lives and achieve their goals in education and sport.
“Not only is Ntando an incredible athlete, but he is also an inspiring role model,” reports Crompton.
Paralympian Tyrone Pillay is another Global Team Toyota Athlete.
Born with an impairment to his left leg, Pillay has long had a passion for sport and dreamed of being a Paralympian since he was three years old. Raised to be independent, he learned never to let his disability keep him from doing the things he most enjoyed.
Cricket was his sport of choice in his early teens, but he started to look to other sports when he realised that he would not be able to make the South African cricket team due to his impairment.
As a strong, tall and muscular athlete, he turned his sporting passions to field events. He achieved his dream of becoming a Paralympian at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, winning a bronze medal for shot-put.
He has been an ambassador for a nonprofit organisation that provides prosthetics for South African children living with lower extremity amputations since 2009.
Fondly known as the “Hulk” or “Gentle Giant”, Pillay shares his experiences with children in similar conditions and tries to motivate them, encouraging them to embrace their condition.
“Tyrone is a force to be reckoned with and is ready to conquer the world at the
Tokyo Paralympics,” reveals Crompton.
Former South African Paralympian and a senior manager at Toyota SA’s Training Academy, Pieter Badenhorst lives out a philosophy of just three words, “No special treatment”. Forced to have both arms amputated at the age of five after coming into contact with a high-voltage cable, Badenhorst has never expected to be treated differently.
He quickly learned that there are many advantages to facing hardships head-on.
“After I lost my arms and underwent rehabilitation, I had a choice of either sitting on the sidelines and watching my life unfold in front of me, or participating fully.” He made the choice to participate fully, attending mainstream schools, then going on to university and eventually working for Toyota SA in the ’90s.
Badenhorst has a black belt and provincial colours in karate and kick-boxing — feats achieved while competing against able-bodied opponents. He also competed in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Paralympics, winning a gold medal in 1992. In 2012 he was the Paralympics Chef de Mission.
He says success is about defining what you see as your impossible. “It’s only when you have done this that you’ll know whether you’ve succeeded in doing it. Whether it’s in sport, the corporate world or in business, setting different challenges has to form part of your greater vision.”
Perhaps even more important, he adds, is that these challenges must not just be tasks, but activities about which you are passionate. “The most fulfilling aspect about accomplishing something which is seemingly impossible, is that you can never actually overachieve,” he says.
Badenhorst was a board member of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation and was integrally involved in grassroots sports where he focused on ensuring that athletes were able to turn their impossibilities into infinite possibilities.
We aim to create a peaceful society without discrimination through sports and are committed to creating a sustainable society through mobility