Sailing lessons and useful skills for people with disabilities
Valencia City Government, company Ferrovial and Fundación Adecco para la Integración Laboral are to promote a Disabled Sailing School to enable people with any type of disability to sail.
An agreement to this end was signed today by Rita Barberá, Mayor of Valencia and President of the Fundación Deportiva Municipal, Rafael del Pino, Chairman of Ferrovial, and Emilio Zurutuza, President of Fundación Adecco.
Under the three-year agreement, which also involves the Valencia region’s Federation of Disabled Sports, a Disabled Sailing School will be established within Valencia’s Municipal Sport School Programme. Ferrovial will contribute 80,000 euro to Fundación Adecco for use in activities to enable people with disabilities to learn sailing, with the ultimate goal of fostering employment.
Following the signature, the Mayor, accompanied by Cristóbal Grau, the alderman with responsibility for sport, highlighted the fact that Valencia City Government, through its Municipal Sports Foundation “makes mejor efforts to encourage all citizens to practise sport, and it currently teaches 10,000 people who are learning sports in the Municipal Sports Schools”.
Ferrovial sees thet “agreement as an extension of the company’s strategy and activities aimed at providing training, social integration and employment for disadvantaged people, particularly people with disabilities. Sport is a tool for social development and integration”.
On behalf of Fundación Adecco, Emilio Zurutuza commented that “this agreement is a first in Spain, since it combines a disabled sailing school, sailing practice and the acquisition of knowledge and skills that can be used in finding work”.
Sport as a pathway to employment
Since 1999, Fundación Adecco has been working to foster integration of certain disadvantaged groups into the labour market. Sport is one of the methods it uses because it teaches social skills such as teamwork, improves self-esteem, and encourages people to aim higher. The experience gathered since 1999 suggests that sport may be a very useful means of fostering the integration of people with disabilities.
Ferrovial is strongly committed to developing projects for integrating disadvantaged groups into society and the labour market; as a result, it signed a cooperation agreement with Fundación Adecco one year ago to achieve these aims with people with disabilities.
Ferrovial is one of Europe’s largest infrastructure and services groups in terms of both market capitalisation and profitability, and it has 70,000 employees. Ferrovial was founded as a construction company in 1952.
Fifty years later, Ferrovial is a business group with a strong presence in construction, infrastructure concessions (toll roads, airports and car parks), real estate development and services, and it operates in many countries worldwide, primarily in Europe, North America and Australia. For the fourth consecutive year, Ferrovial has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, one of the leading international benchmarks of companies committed to corporate responsibility.
Ferrovial is also included in the Footsie4Good indexes. The company’s Strategic Plan for Community Action gives priority to programs of training and employment for groups that are at a disadvantage or at risk of social exclusion. Programmes completed or ongoing include the Family Plan (social integration and employment for disabled family members of employees), cooperation agreements with Fundación Adecco, Fundación Integra and Fundación Once’s Inserta programme, and employment development programmes with Fundación Síndrome de Down, among others.