Dubai – As part of its commitment to the Paralympic Movement globally and within the UAE, Citi sponsored the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai. The Championships concluded following strong performances by Team Citi athletes from around the world.
In total, the 12 Team Citi athletes competing earned 12 medals, and, collectively, Para athletes representing the 18 Citi-sponsored National Paralympic Committees took home 118 medals. In addition, three Team Citi athletes set Championship records: Madison De Rozario of Australia in the 800m, Anruné Weyers of South Africa in the 400m, and Jason Smyth of Ireland in the 100m.
Two Team Citi athletes won multiple medals, with De Rozario winning a gold and two silvers, and Weyers winning a gold, a silver and a bronze.
Citi Board Member Jim S. Turley and Elissar Farah Antonios, Citi Cluster Head UAE, Levant & Iraq, presented medals to shot put athletes on Wednesday evening in the medals plaza.
"Congratulations to all of the athletes who competed fiercely and turned in winning and record-breaking performances at these Championships. What an amazing week it has been in Dubai. Citi is proud to partner with the IPC given our deep, shared passion for helping to foster a more diverse and inclusive society," said Elissar Farah Antonios, Citi Cluster Head for UAE, Levant & Iraq. "These past few days in Dubai have been a taste of what is to come next summer at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.''
Along with its support of the UAE Paralympic Committee, Citi also supports two Emirati athletes: athletics competitor and bronze Paralympic medalist Sara Al Senaani and powerlifter and two-time Paralympic gold medalists Mohammed Khamis Khalaf.
More than 44 Citi volunteers supported the Championships and during Citi's global Community Day Citi raised nearly US$23,000 for the NPC in the UAE to address the challenge associated with the high cost of para-sports equipment, highlighting Citi's efforts to engage colleagues in helping to advance the Paralympic Movement.
Citi UAE also launched an integrated local marketing campaign with the slogan "Never Settle For Never" to engage fans and to generate excitement and pride around the accomplishments of Para athletes. The campaign was featured in Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, on social media channels and at customer events. Citi UAE also launched a conversation on social media on the need to offer para emojis and allow for a more inclusive dialogue on social channels.
"Through the campaign, we hope to increase awareness for the Paralympic Movement and the need for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in our society,'' said Dinesh Sharma, Consumer Bank Head Middle East. "Together we can advocate for societal change in perceptions around disability, be it in the real world or in the digital one.''
Citi was the official sponsor of the Championships, where more than 1,400 Para athletes from over 105 countries competed.
The Championships took place at the Dubai Club for People with Determination from November 7 to November 15 and featured the following members of Team Citi:
Citi began its relationship with the Paralympic Movement in 2012 with its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams. During that time, Citi supported eight U.S. Paralympians and featured them prominently in their marketing campaigns and colleague engagement promotions. Citi also supported U.S. Paralympic sports programs. In 2018, Citi served as a sponsor of the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation Wheelchair Rugby World Championship in Australia, World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships in Ireland, Asian Para Games in Indonesia, Para Powerlifting Americas Open Championships in Bogota, and then in 2019 the World Para Allianz Swimming Championships in London.
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