Paralympian Tyrone Pillay received the Toyota Global President’s Award  in the city of Nagoya, Japan today (24 April) for his outstanding achievement at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

It is the first time that the award is given to an individual outside of Japan and celebrates ‘teamwork and togetherness’ in sport in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Games, of which Toyota is an official sponsor.

We asked Tyrone, who won shot put bronze for South Africa in Rio, about his trip and the road ahead.

What does winning this award mean to you?

“Winning this award is truly amazing since athletes never get recognized at this level, or in this way, for their achievements. To be recognized on an international stage is tremendous and truly humbling.”

How did the partnership with Toyota come about?

“I have worked for Toyota for nearly 13 years now and they have been really supportive of me since I decided to start competing. They have supported me since 2011.”

After your Rio success, what is next?

“Rio was great and a life changing experience but it’s in the past and we have to move forward to new targets. World champs in London in July will be my big focus for this year. It’s only a few years to go before Tokyo so, the plans have already started and the hard work continues,” concludes Pillay.

A wonderful achievement for one of South Africa’s advocates for the development of Paralympic Sport. Congratulations Tyrone!


Story by liezel van rensburg