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Special Olympics athletes join Futsal Club Championship

News Agencies | Updated on: 11 November 2021, 18:09 IST
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22 Special Olympics athletes and 14 Unified Partners from Delhi will participate in the Grassroots Futsal event on Thursday. The event is a part of the inaugural Futsal Club Championship 2021 taking place between November 5-13. Four Special Olympics Unified teams will play 5-a-side matches at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex, Delhi.

The Unified partners would represent players from the AIFF and the Elite level female footballers as well, joining the Special Olympics Athletes as teammates.

The event is expected to be witnessed by approx. 100 attendees. Sunando Dhar, CEO, Leagues and Development, Futsal Club Championship 2021-22 will grace the occasion as chief guest along with other distinguished guests.

The first-ever footballing experience of the Special Athletes with AIFF and as a part of their landmark event, resonates with the Special Olympics mission that aims to bring about Inclusion through sports and building communities of acceptance for persons with intellectual Disabilities.

Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports teams do that, too and much more. About 1.4 million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way.

Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

Speaking on the occasion, Sunando Dhar said: "It is a nice initiative for us to collaborate with Special Olympics and celebrate the cause on this occasion here. We wish them all the very best for the future and surely they'll raise the bar higher in the days to come."

In the words of Mallika Nadda, Chairperson, SO Bharat: "By inviting the Special Olympics Athletes, the All India Football Federation has substantiated their support towards Inclusion. Sport is an equaliser and engaging with organisations that have a pan India reach, strengthens our efforts to build an inclusive approach. The Special Athletes are worthy of acceptance and respect is what this event aims to amplify. We look forward to exploring many more opportunities of quality football with AIFF in future."


First published: 11 November 2021, 18:09 IST