When the Czech Olympic Committee and Toyota started flirting six years ago, it was not a completely smooth courtship. Until then, ČOV had worked with Škodovka and was not entirely sure if it was Toyota – after all, in 2015, the Japanese brand held the seventeenth (!) place on the Czech market, a suitable partner.
That it was not an unequal bundle in the end is shown by Toyota’s current potato position within the Czech market. “We are athletes, so we believe that we can make it to the box together,” joked Jiří Kejval, chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee. Martin Peleška – general manager of Toyota and Lexus CR, would certainly not be angry about the medal either, last year the Japanese brand was 336 cars short of the third Hyundai (20,099 vs. 19,763 cars).
Speaking of those numbers, during the entire period of cooperation, Czech Toyota lent athletes and para-athletes two hundred cars that drove more than five million kilometers. I mentioned Team Toyota, which in the current campaign is represented by water slalom skier Lukáš Rohan, speed canoeist Martin Fuksa, runner Kristiina Sasínek Mäki, sprint and shot putter paraathlete Anna Luxová, javelin thrower Nikola Ogrodníková, swimmer Barbora Seemanová, skater Maxim Habanec and fencer Alexander Choupenitch. They are joined by paraathlete Tereza Jakschová, paraswimmer David Kratochvíl and paracyclist Patrik Jahoda. You can take a look at the sports party around Toyota in the video below.
But it is certainly nice that Toyota is far from limiting itself to supporting these big sports guys and girls, but thanks to the Proace ProSport program it also helps various small clubs/associations/associations that can rent this multi-purpose Toyota under favorable conditions. In this way, 225 proacs are already driving around the Czech Republic. What would we, the little Sigmas – and also their parents, have given for that. I will never forget how we, as pupils, used to travel wildly for the weekend matches, how the parents had to take turns as transporters of the little footballers. And when there weren’t enough cars, we significantly exceeded their transport capacity. For example, eight of us once traveled in a Renault 5, mainly poor Přemysl Čotek, who, as a newcomer to the team, was left with a “place” among the football bags in the luggage compartment.
Back to more important information. Toyota also proves that cooperation with the committee is not only about professional athletes, by participating in sixteen other projects and events, such as the Children’s and Youth Olympics, the Olympic Run or the Olympic Parks and the Olympic All-around. It focuses mainly on children, 136,000 young athletes participate in the program every year. “We really appreciate the really broad scope of cooperation with Toyota. It supports sports for children in schools during the Olympic All-around or in individual clubs thanks to the advantageous rental of vans and therefore safe transportation. On the other hand, it helps with mobility in the preparation of hopefuls for Olympic success,” says Jiří Kejval, chairman of the Czech Olympic Committee.
The cooperation is highly appreciated by the other side as well. “Our role in supporting Czech sports has been clear from the beginning. We want to support movement in all its aspects, whether it is sport or mobility. Not all athletes or ordinary people have the same initial conditions, for some the path to the top is more difficult, for example due to various handicaps or a difficult life situation. Even at such a moment, however, it is necessary to fight and attempt the seemingly impossible thanks to constant and daily improvement. This is also the philosophy of our brand, which is why supporting sports and athletes is very close to us,” explains Martin Peleška, CEO of Toyota and Lexus Czech Republic.
And since we have an Olympic year this year (are you looking forward to Paris?), maybe the video from the Toyota campaign will help you choose your favorite. Toyota itself will then be extremely active in Paris, providing 2,650 electrified cars for the needs of athletes, officials, volunteers and journalists.