On 29 January - 4 February 2022, Kazan hosts the II Special Olympics Russia Winter Invitational Games.
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Evelina Bledans attended an inclusive holiday for young athletes of the Special Olympics in Kazan

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An inclusive holiday for children with intellectual disabilities took place on December 5 in Kazan. The Russian film and theatre actress, the founder of "We all are different" fund for helping people with special needs, and the mother of a special son Evelina Bledans attended the event.

The holiday brought together more than 50 children with and without intellectual disabilities. The event was held in preparation for the Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022 and testing the non-sports projects of the Games program, in particular, the “Unified Schools of Champions”, “Young Athletes” and “Motor Activity Training Program” (MATP).

“I have wonderful impressions of this holiday: kind atmosphere full of sports enthusiasm. It is great that Kazan hosts such inclusive events on a regular basis. In general, Kazan is the city of sport, and it is a wonderful place for hosting the Special Olympics Games,” noted Evelina Bledans.

ANO “Directorate for Sports and Social Projects”, the Special Olympics of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Volga Region State University of Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism acted as the organizers of the event.

The “Unified Schools of Champions” Program is a program for schools that aims to promote social inclusion by uniting students with and without intellectual disabilities to create an acceptable environment for all. The main goal of the program is to interact between schools of the host country through the unified sports events and the involvement of schools in general.

The Motor Activity Training Program (MATP) is intended for athletes (including those with severe intellectual disabilities and significant physical disabilities) who cannot compete in the Games. The Motor Activity Training Program is designed to prepare athletes for physical culture and sports.

“Young Athletes” is an innovative sports game program for children with and without intellectual disabilities, aged 2 to 7. The program includes a variety of game activities to help children develop key motor skills. Key skills include such basic skills as movement and running, coordination abilities, jumping, grabbing, throwing, hitting the ball, etc. The program will be held daily, throughout the entire period of the Games, reaching from 500-1000 young athletes, including children without intellectual disabilities.

The Special Olympics World Winter Games Kazan 2022 will be held in Kazan in January 2023. The sports program of the Games includes competitions in 7 sports: alpine skiing, snowboarding, floorball, cross country skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating and snowshoeing. Athletes with intellectual disabilities and unified partners will take part in the competition.

About Special Olympics

Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries and territories and more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year. Learn more: Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and blog on Medium. More information on www.SpecialOlympics.org.

About Special Olympics Russia

Special Olympics Russia was founded in 1999 and is one of the largest national programs in the global Special Olympics movement. In Russia, around 130,000 people with intellectual disabilities are involved in physical education and about 5,000 physical culture events of the municipal, regional and all Russian levels are held annually under the Special Olympics Russia program. Currently there are Special Olympics regional offices in 62 regions of Russia. Russian athletes with intellectual disabilities take part in international tournaments annually in the Special Olympics Russia program with athletes occupying various leadership positions.

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