• Promoting inclusion of Persons with Intellectual Disability through Sports.
  • AIFF collaborates with SO Bharat to share human values and spread a message of inclusivity

Delhi,18 February 2023: 20 Athletes from Special Olympics Bharat (SO Bharat) combined with the players of All India Football Federation (AIFF) adding a new perspective to the second edition of the AIFF Hero Futsal Club Championship 2022-23 held at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall, Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex, Delhi. Prior to the competition a coaches’ training oriented about 30 participants with Special Olympics Unified Sports and Inclusion of the Athletes with Intellectual Disability in the sports field and beyond. The Unified Futsal Championship (7-a-side) was played over an hour between teams that combined the players with and without Intellectual Disability. Mr Victor Hermans, FIFA Technical Consultant & legendary Futsal player, graced the event alongside several distinguished guests 

In the words of Mr. Savio Medeira, Director, Coach Education: “we are also looking at Unified Football as a topic to be included in our official AIFF E Certificate Coaching Course in the immediate future. The E Certificate is our entry-level coaching course which focuses on Life Skills and Human Values along with introducing the basics of Football Coaching to first-timers and is undertaken by thousands of coaches every year on a pan-India level” 

In the words of MM Khurram, Unified Sports Coach, SO Bharat: Collaboration with AIFF would be a giant leap towards spreading awareness and inclusion through sports at the grassroot level. People often understand Special Olympics to be a sports program for persons with Intellectual Disability only; but being a global inclusion movement we invite the players without intellectual disability to join our athletes in the sports field and through this engagement we feel that we can nurture a culture of positivity and build communities of acceptance 

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. 


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