Hudson which represents NIKE in Malta as well as in over 23 countries in Africa, is the main Paralympic Malta Team sponsor providing NIKE gears and footwear for the Tokyo games being held between August 24 and September 5.
Besides the kit, Hudson provided the NIKE GO FlyEase lifestyle shoe, which can be put on without the assistance of hands. Having no laces, the shoe has a special system that allows the front to separate for the person wearing it to step right into it, providing a great alternative for those lacking full mobility of their hands or fingers. To take the shoe off, the opposite toe is used to hold the heel and hinge the shoe open.
The cushioning is made from plush, lightweight Cushlon foam, so each step feels smooth as you transition from heel to toe. Lightweight fabric in the upper creates an airy, comfortable feel. No-sew overlays add durability and provide structure and stability. This ‘lifestyle’ shoe is intended for daily wear and will be worn by the athletes before and after their races.
This shoe is available at NIKE store, the Point Shopping Complex, Sliema in black with other colours on the way.
Built to offer the best technical support, NIKE dominated this summer’s Olympic games with about 64% of its sponsored athletes hitting the podium spots in athletics alone.
Nike’s mission statement is to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.” NIKE co-founder Bill Bowerman reportedly added the asterisk, explaining that “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” With reference to this, Etienne Camenzuli, Senior Merchandising & Products Specialist at Hudson explained that “through this initiative, not only do we seek to support the local sport scene, but we are also thrilled to be putting NIKE’s main philosophy into practice – that of supporting athletes participate in sport irrespective of their abilities. We are also very keen to be pushing another top priority for NIKE – that of supporting women in sport as well as in other spheres of life”
For these much-awaited games, Malta will be represented by Vladyslava Kravchenko in Para swimming and Thomas Borg in the Para athletics events. 20-year-old Thomas Borg will be competing in the 100m and 400m Para athletics events in the T47 classification category. 29-year-old Vladyslava Kravchenko, will be competing in the S5 50m butterfly and S5 50m backstroke events. Kravchenko is the first female Maltese Para athlete to be selected for two consecutive Paralympic Games, after having represented Malta at the Rio 2016 Paralympics as Malta’s first-ever female swimmer.
The Malta contingent is led by Chef de Mission, Dr. Julian Bajada. Bajada serves the role of Malta Paralympic Committee’s (MPC) Secretary General, and a Para athlete himself, has demonstrated strong sport leadership. The team will also be accompanied by Dr. Edward Caruana Dingli (Para swimming coach, Exiles SC) and Mr. Kevin Galea (Para athletics coach.
This is the first time since the 1980 Arnhem Paralympic Games that Malta will be represented by more than one Paralympic athlete. During MPC’s recent press conference it was noted that the highest number of local Para athletes competed for a spot at Tokyo 2020, illustrating the strides made in the development of para sport in Malta.
During the same event, MPC President Prof. Joseph N. Grima remarked that the “Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games are not only the pinnacle of Paralympic sport, but a timely reminder that the human body is possible of the unbelievable. Participation in such high-level games and the positive results being achieved reflect our ambition, approach, and positive mindset to sport and in everything else in life. We hope that other individuals in Malta, with or without a physical impairment, are inspired by the Paralympic Games to pursue sport. The possibilities and benefits are endless.”