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Special Olympics Concludes SNF Unified Sports Program

Special Olympics Nigeria has successfully concluded the Unified Sports program sponsored by Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

The SNF Unified Sports program is a school and community based initiative of Special Olympics Nigeria that engages participants with and without intellectual disabilities in Football and Air badminton sports training and competition.

Athletes (people with intellectual disabilities) and Unified Partners (people without intellectual disabilities) participated in self development programs, and sports training sessions two times weekly, within various communities and centers over the duration of 21 weeks beginning November 2020 and ending April 2021.

The activities came to an end with a grand finale tournament, held on Friday the 16th April, 2021 at Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos. This featured football and air-badminton competition, mentorship sessions, award presentation and a dance challenge. After 21weeks, 192 athletes and 186 unified partners were equipped with sports and developmental skills; whilst 51 coaches enhanced their sports management and training skills. Beneficiaries successfully improved their physical fitness and sports skills, and participated in self-developmental programs including unified youth discussion forums to equip them with life skills and prepare them for the future.

The partnership between Special Olympics Nigeria and Stavros Niarchos Foundation to implement the SNF Unified Sports Program promoted inclusion, encouraged friendships, and showcased the sports skills of persons with and without intellectual disabilities in football and air badminton.

Special Olympics Nigeria is part of a worldwide movement (Special Olympics international) that is aimed at changing the misconceptions individuals have about people with intellectual disabilities (PWID). Our mission is to provide various sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic – type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities thus providing a platform where their abilities are celebrated in the society.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) is one of the world’s leading private, international philanthropic organizations, making grants to nonprofit organizations in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. SNF funds organizations and projects worldwide that aim to achieve a broad, lasting, and positive impact for society at large, and exhibit strong leadership and sound management. The Foundation also supports projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare.

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