Educational, engaging, changing views, awareness, accessibility and challenging the norms. These are just a few words we use to describe this campaign. It is not just a campaign about Palesa as a Paraplegic athlete. It is about raising awareness about the differently-abled community, everyday challenges they face that abled bodies community take for granted, more so within the sport as a female. The campaign also focuses on raising funds for Palesa to participate in the Tokyo2020 Paralympics.
It has been her dream as a differently-abled black woman in sport to represent her country in the Paralympics, especially since the field is dominated by white males. She’s all about encouraging and supporting women and men in sport and opening up conversations that address issues for the differently-abled communities.
Palesa’s aspiration is to open doors for differently-abled youth and children, be it in sport, education or wherever else they may desire to venture into. However, the campaign focuses on the development of sport, or the lack thereof, for the differently-abled in South Africa. For them to have equal accessibility, after understanding limitations that come with being differently-abled. It is because of this knowledge that #BeyondAccessibility is her bigger dream beyond the Paralympics and Tokyo2020.
For Palesa, the campaign means people of all ages can see somebody representing them in the big stage. One of her favourite sayings is “You can’t be what you can’t see”. With that, children of all ages can see themselves in her and know they can do anything and everything they put their minds into.
This is part of the reason why the University of Johannesburg with its various departments (Department of Sport, Department of Strategic Communication to name a few) support and believe in this campaign. And seeing Palesa as an inspiration to the youth and children of the future.
Support Palesa achieve her 2020 Paralympic dream. Take Africa to the world, through your donations to Palesa’s cause.