NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bridgestone Americas Inc. has launched the "Chase Your Dream with Team Bridgestone" campaign with its Team Bridgestone athlete ambassadors to help advance the company's commitment to promoting diversity and creating more inclusive communities.
Bridgestone said it will provide funding and support local activities that benefit adaptive sports organizations and empower young adaptive athletes in the U.S. and Canada.
The program includes $125,000 in donations from Bridgestone and the Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund to Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), Adaptive Sports Ohio (ASO) and Amputee Blade Runners (ABR).
These contributions will fund individual athlete grants for adaptive sports equipment, training and competition travel, as well as support local community programming that will create new access to sport and keep existing adaptive athletes engaged across their journey.
Additionally, Team Bridgestone athlete ambassadors will join events through these organizations to help inspire adaptive athletes of all ages and abilities to keep chasing their dreams, the company said.
"Bridgestone is committed to working with partners who can help drive awareness and change regarding diversity, equity and inclusion in our communities, and we have seen how sports can create opportunities and networks of support for all individuals," Paolo Ferrari, president and CEO, Bridgestone Americas, said. "We're proud to be a Worldwide Paralympic Partner to help promote inclusivity through sport and we're excited to extend this support into our local communities through our 'Chase Your Dream' program."
Scout Bassett, who competed at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, is both a member of Team Bridgestone and a long-time CAF athlete ambassador. After losing her right leg as an infant, she turned to sports to connect with her peers. At 14, Bassett received a grant from CAF for her first running prosthetic, starting her journey to becoming a U.S. National Champion, a World Championship medalist and a star in Para track and field.
"The pandemic has increased the need for all of us to have a strong support system and community. This is true for athletes — and even more important for athletes with disabilities who already have so much adversity to overcome," said Ms. Bassett. "Bridgestone has been so supportive of my journey and the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I am proud to help them promote the benefits of sport and empower a new generation of adaptive athletes to dream big."