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Special Olympics Russia and Vladimir Potanin Foundation to create 80 inclusive schools in Russian regions

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Special Olympics Russia and the Vladimir Potanin Foundation have signed a partnership agreement for developing inclusive sports.

As part of the “Inclusive Sports for Everyone” project, Special Olympics Russia will select 15 regions through a competition, which will develop inclusive sports within three years. As a result, 80 new inclusive schools will be created where people with intellectual disabilities can practice and improve their physical fitness on an equal footing with other people.

The Special Olympics and Foundation’s initiative also includes an educational course, within which 2,000 specialists from various Russian regions will be trained under the Special Olympics program at the Volga Region State University of Physical Education, Sports and Tourism to promote inclusive sports.

The agreement was signed by Olga Sloutsker, President of the Special Olympics Russia, and Oksana Oracheva, Director General of the Foundation, on the sidelines of the “Russia – Country of Sports” Forum held in Kazan.

“Inclusive Sports for Everyone” project is a continuation of the Special Olympics work on developing an inclusive society and socializing people with ID in our country. We see in practice and specific examples how the involvement of people with and without ID in unified sports helps people with mental disabilities learn to trust, open up, and find their significant place in society," noted Olga Sloutsker.

Oksana Oracheva, Director General of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation, comments: “The Potanin Foundation supports socially significant projects in the field of physical education and sports, striving to identify the potential of sports as a public institution capable of acting as a driver of positive changes. We are confident that this large-scale task should be addressed by common efforts in a comprehensive manner. “Inclusive Sports for Everyone” is a project where many years of the Special Olympics experience with inclusive practices and the Foundation’s expertise in identifying and supporting socially significant projects will enable, on the one hand, to contribute to developing regional infrastructure, and on the other, to take a step towards a more harmonious, prosperous, open society of equal opportunities.”

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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