Special Olympics Bharat conducts Youth Activation Workshop


New Delhi: To celebrate the successful partnership shared by Special Olympics Bharat, Lions Clubs International through the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust, a two-day Youth Activation Workshop by the Youth Leaders of Special Olympics Bharat began today at the PHD Chamber, New Delhi.

The Chief Guest of the Opening Ceremony was Olympic medalist Vijender Singh. The ceremony was also attended by Mrs. Aruna Oswal, PID Lions Clubs International & Chairperson of the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust, H.E. the Ambassador of Ecuador, Mr Hector Cueva Jacome and Air Marshal Denzil Keelor Founder & CEO SO Bharat.

Addressing the audience on the occasion, Vijender Singh said, “I strongly believe that in sports, winning and losing are secondary, what’s important is that you try. In fact, winning doesn’t teach you anything. When you lose is when you see the real picture. The special athletes are an inspiration for all of us. I am sure this is just the start for Special Olympics Bharat. I look forward to continue being a part of this great initiative.”

Air Marshal Denzil Keelor, Founder Trustee of Special Olympics Bharat said, “What we are celebrating here is a very important initiative. We have the Special Olympics Youth Leaders of SO Bharat and the Leos of the Lions Club coming together here today to hone their leadership skills. Their incubation in the program, promises to significantly add to our plans for the formation of a unified generation of tomorrow.”

Over two years ago, SO Bharat were selected to carry out a program called MISSION INCLUSION for a period of three years. The Program reached out to more than Eighty thousand Athletes, Partners, Families, Youth and Doctors through Unified Sports, Youth Activation and Healthy Athlete Programs having achieved over 90% of the target. These elements happen to be an integral part of the Special Olympics Global Strategy. This program was the dream of Mrs Aruna Oswal.  Mission Inclusion emerged and grew out of this partnership and is now an ongoing movement.

Mrs. Aruna Oswal, International Director of Lions Clubs International and Founder of the Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust said, “The Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust aims at nurturing lives.  We stand by special athletes through the “Mission: Inclusion” national platform.  We support the efforts of empowering these athletes to become confident and dignified members of our community.  The inclusive sports program, Unified Sports, must be encouraged for cultivating sensitivity, acceptance, unity and bravery among our youth.”

The session aimed at bringing a renewed focus towards mobilizing volunteers and local communities nationwide to support Special Olympics athletes- both on and off the field of play. To join them in their endeavors of promoting inclusion, SO Bharat Youth leaders, with & without intellectual disability, invited Lions Clubs volunteers and their youth network, LEOs from across India to introduce them to the Special Olympics’ movement towards building leadership and inclusion.

Following the opening ceremony, about 100 young participants, including Youth leaders with and without Intellectual Disabilities and the LEOs from all over India will engage in interactive sessions to educate each other on building inclusive communities and lifelong positive attitudes towards people with ID by increasing school Unified Sports programs, developing youth leaders, and empowering young people to support and join the Special Olympics movement.

The program will wrap up with an hour long Unified Basketball engagement. To conclude the workshop, the LEOs along with the National Youth Core team will define a Special Olympics activity that they would undertake in their respective districts to bring on board more LEOs to join the Special Olympics’ inclusion movement.

About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5.3 million athletes and Unified partners in 169 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year.

The Mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is the charitable arm of Lions Clubs International, the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in more than 200 countries and geographical areas worldwide. Since 1968, LCIF has supported Lions by providing grant funding for their local and global humanitarian efforts, including treating and preventing avoidable blindness, empowering youth and providing disaster relief on a global scale. Learn more at lcif.org.

About The Aruna Abhey Oswal Trust

Set up by Mr and Mrs Abhey Oswal backed by a heartfelt desire to serve the society, especially the underprivileged. The trust pledges to work selflessly towards supporting humanity with its philanthropic philosophy of “NURTURING LIVES”. One’s true happiness can be achieved by the happiness of others

Mrs Aruna Oswal The trust desires to contribute towards the economic and living conditions of the poor by improving the accessibility and utilization of much needed social service. The mission is to empower rather than just improve lives affecting transformation into an independent and a fulfilling life. The trust advocates selfless non-profit services for education, providing shelter to the homeless, women empowerment, medical assistance, generation of employment and overall development of the underprivileged.

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