As part of its mission to break down the psychological, physical and societal limits to movement, sport and exercise, Rexona brought together a stellar panel which included influencers from the world of sport to share their lessons on ‘Moving My Way’.
Hosted by UK sports presenter Sophie Morgan, the panel included President of World Athletics Lord Sebastian Coe; South African Paralympian Ntando Mahlangu; American actress and para-snowboarder Amy Purdy; Nakul Gaur, co-chair of Enable, Unilever’s employee support group for colleagues with disabilities and allies; and Aline Santos, EVP, Marketing and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer.
Both Lord Coe and Sophie Morgan recognised sport’s ability to have a lasting impact across society. Ntando Mahlangu experienced this first hand when he competed for South Africa at the Paralympics at the age of 14. “South Africa was not the easiest country to grow up in as a disabled person,” he says. “But I began representing that community of 1 billion people when I competed in the Paralympics at 14. You must tell yourself to look at the bigger picture. You’re representing your country and all the people that believe in you,” he says.
Amy Purdy acknowledged sport’s ability to change people’s perceptions too, especially since her time on the US programme ‘Dancing with the Stars’. “People didn’t know how to react when they would see me walking past them on the street. Now after the programme, people come up and speak to me. It’s changed how they look at people with disabilities,” she says. “When ideas scare me or I’m jumping into a new project, I always say: ‘If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”
Creating visibility around support and assistance was the message from Nakul Gaur. Making reasonable adjustments can lead to more people trying activities and enjoying the benefits. He plays wheelchair basketball with a local team. “I have made some great friends. I have learnt a lot from my team about life. I can’t wait to get back to the court,” he says.
Using the reach of Unilever’s brands can help move the dial too, says Aline Santos. “Unilever brands connect with 2.5 billion people every day. It’s a privilege and a responsibility for us to use this power to inspire people with more inclusive marketing.”
“And not just today on International Day for Persons for Disabilities, but every day,” adds Emily Heath. “Rexona wants everyone to move more. And we will work as a brand to empower everyone with the confidence to move more and to show that it’s not only athletes who can achieve great things every single day.”