Germany steps up preparations for Special Olympics
The long journey to the Special Olympics Berlin 2023 received a major boost after the German Society for International Development (GIZ) funded a six-month training program for local coaches.
The program, which began last week, will run through to the national games in May.
Uganda participates in the Special Olympics and competes in volleyball, football, table tennis, swimming and athletics, but will not field a women’s team.
Inclusion through Sport is a program inherited from the hosts, Germany, aimed at introducing the challenge of perception to Special Olympics athletes.
Tobias Antoni, the project manager, says it will benefit Uganda and Kosovo, help unite people with and without intellectual disabilities.
“We are setting up Unified Sports Workshops to build the capacity of Special Olympics Uganda and Kosovo in the development of Unified Sports. We are developing Unified Sports Multipliers by coaching teachers and coaches on the concept of Unified Sports said Antoni.
The collaborative project will focus on basketball, football and handball.
Geneviève Bamwidhukire, Executive Director of Special Olympics Uganda, explained that it was a good opportunity to reach more athletes ahead of the World Games.
Up to 7,000 Special Olympics athletes and Unified Partners from 170 countries will compete in 24 sports June 17-25, 2023 in Berlin, Germany.
“The World Games have been a challenge, particularly in terms of funding and training, and it is an opportunity to enable us to train more athletes and give them a chance to gain professional coaching expertise. before the Games,” Bamwidhukire said.
The national games will be held in Gulu on May 30 to help select the athletes who will represent Uganda.
Bamwidhukire is excited about the impact the Games have nurtured athletes such as sprinter Jacent Nyamahunge, who is now an elite athlete.
Uganda is expected to field 35 athletes in volleyball, traditional football, table tennis, swimming and athletics.
Special Olympics athletes at the 2023 World Games
Volleyball 12 unified
Foot 12 Traditional
Table tennis 2 Male and Female
Swimming 4 Two per gender
Athletics 5 Three women