Parasports May 11, 2020
Special Olympics Bharat goes online to help athletes train effectively during lockdown
Online seems to be the way to go in these times of Covid-19! Special Olympics Bharat, an NGO that is focusing on building an inclusive world through sports, is opting for webinars to ensure that athletes with intellectual disabilities don’t miss out on their training during the lockdown.
Over 300 athletes with intellectual disabilities from eight countries including India attended a series of webinars that were organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in partnership with Special Olympics Bharat, an organisation that reaches out to children and youth with intellectual disabilities.
A non-profit organisation, Special Olympics Bharat is the India Chapter of the Special Olympics Inc and is working towards the goal of creating an inclusive world. The webinar series called Opportunities and Challenges in Training Special Athletes during COVID-19 was conducted over six days and saw the presence of athletes from countries like the United States, Singapore, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, to mention a few.
Webinars aim to address challenges of lockdown
The aim was to address the challenges and opportunities for athletes during the Covid-19 lockdown period. Through the six days different topics were taken up by experts from specific fields.
This is a celebration of a new initiative. It has shown us a different perspective of staying connected, promoting Inclusion and strengthening the essence of the Special Olympics movement. – Air Marshal Denzil Keelor, Founder Trustee-CEO, Special Olympics Bharat
The experts drew attention to health challenges, unified sports, inclusion and resources available for athletes. Athlete leaders from various parts of India spoke about the challenges they are experiencing and showed confidence about overcoming them.
Larger mission of Special Olympics Bharat
Special Olympics aims is to create a world where people follow the leadership and voices of Special Olympics athletes towards building an inclusive way of life. The athlete leaders are intellectually disabled athletes who take part in sports and show leadership skills and the potential to assume significant roles beyond the sports field. The Athlete Leadership Programme creates opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to develop and demonstrate their abilities and voices in various leadership roles.
Satish Pillai, Chairman, Special Olympics Bharat, says going digital through webinars will help connect to a larger world. “It will draw their attention towards an Inclusive perspective and the significant role of sports in achieving it. We attempt to continue keeping the athletes, coaches and everyone engaged and spread awareness about the abilities of people with special needs.The Special Olympics Resources created especially for the current times, along with the phenomenal initiatives of the Govt of India, supporting sports, is motivating us to bring a transformation in our procedures and embrace the change”.
Founded in 1968, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than six million athletes and unified sports partners in more than 190 countries.
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