Several thousand people have become involved in the Citadele Bank’s “You Are. You Can!” project, which is aimed at supporting Latvia’s paralympic team, by following along with information on social networks. Citadele staff, representatives of local governments and businesspeople have also been involved in supporting the paralympians.
“We offer information about the paralympians and their success on our social profiles on Draugiem.lv, Twitter, Facebook and the Citadele blog,” says the Citadele Bank’s head of corporate communications, Baiba Ābelniece. “People can keep their fingers crossed for success and send positive messages to the athletes. The level of activity in this regard is increasing. Citadele staff have also been active in supporting the paralympians, disseminating information and collecting donations. Donation boxes are at all of our branches. Local governments have also been happy to take part in the project, providing regional information about the “You Are. You Can!” movement.
The Citadele Bank invites all residents and companies in Latvia to provide emotional, moral, financial or material support to Latvia’s paralympians as part of the project. Citadele has opened a special account for donations to the Latvian Paralympic Committee, and anyone can donate money to the committee or to a specific paralympic athlete. Businesses are asked to support the paralympians by providing petrol, transport, training opportunities, or sports equipment.
According to Latvia’s Welfare Ministry, there are some 150,000 differently abled people in Latvia – 7.5% of the entire population. It is thought that no more than 10% or so of them take part in sports. The development of paralympic sports has been a big problem given insufficient state financing, and that means that it is hard to find new talents, develop existing ones, and provide athletes with the necessary equipment, training opportunities, and abilities to take part in international competitions.
Support for Latvia’s paralympians is needed not just so that they can take part in this year’s Paralympic Games. They need assistance for everyday training in terms of equipment, participation in qualifying rounds at the international level, and finding new paralympic talents so that promising athletes do not have to stay at home during the next Paralympic Games in the world.
The “You Are. You Can!” programme was launched by Citadele in June to support Latvia’s team at the Paralympic Games in London and to encourage courage and daring in society. This is an unprecedented support programme for the paralympians so as to develop paralympic sports in Latvia, attract ever new differently abled people to the world of sports, and change public opinions about differently abled people and what they can achieve.
Citadele is a local bank in Latvia, offering banking, financial and capital management services. The Citadele Group is represented in Latvia and in 10 other countries. Citadele Bank is the only collaboration partner of American Express® in Latvia and Lithuania who is entitled to issue American Express credit cards. The vision for Citadele is to become the most valuable local financial group in the Baltic States. 75% minus one Citadele Bank’s shares are possessed by the State Joint Stock Company Privatization agency on behalf of the Latvian State and the owner of 25% plus one share is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
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