That is why as part of our Diversity and Inclusion programs in the community, we sponsor professional wheelchair tennis player Shingo Kunieda from Japan. At our recent event in Tokyo in November, Kunieda, a Paralympic gold medalist (London and Beijing) with a remarkable 26 Grand Slam victories, spoke about his motivations, dealing with pressure as well as the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Kunieda’s perseverance, achievements and attitude towards embracing change convey a strong message to all, one that fuels hope and inspiration that goes well beyond the confines of the office. Yet his experience and approach to sport also draws parallels in business.
Kunieda said he found it easier to find the motivation to get to the top than to stay at the top. After an initial slump in form, he managed to get back up in ranking by changing his approach. “I started to work not towards the ‘outside’ but what was ‘inside,” he said. “I set certain criteria within myself, my own internal targets.”
By focusing on himself, his targets and what he could control, rather than worrying about his opponents, he has retained his title as one of the top professional wheelchair tennis players in the world.