Monday, June 24: To celebrate Olympic Day, a group of 22 young athletes (between ages 2 and 7 years) from Special Olympics Bharat were invited to visit the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) in Ballari, Karnataka.
The students, who are from Saadhya and Tamanna Residential Schools for the Specially-abled in Ballari, Karnataka, were given a special tour of the world class sports facility and had a good interactive session with the athletes residing in the institute as well on Sunday. Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Relay Torch Design Inspired by Japan's Cherry Blossoms Unveiled.
"We are very excited to host the children from the Young Athletes Programme on the occasion of celebrating Olympic Day. Special Olympics Bharat and IKEA Foundation are working brilliantly to ensure that children with intellectual disabilities receive well rounded sports training. I hope the interaction for these children with our athletes at IIS and a visit to our facility will create a sense of aspiration in them to further pursue sports," said Rushdee Warley, CEO, Inspire Institute of Sport
"This was one of the most meaningful ways for us here at IIS to celebrate sports and promote inclusion," he added.
Being India's first privately funded high-performance training centre, the Inspire Institute of Sport is the hub for all aspiring Olympic athletes of the country. Some of these athletes gave a tour to the Special Olympics Bharat children of the sprawling campus and training facilities across wrestling, judo, boxing, athletics and swimming.
Asian Games Triple Jump Gold medallist Arpinder Singh and the Haryana Steelers Kabaddi team, who are training at IIS ahead of the upcoming season also joined the celebrations and handed out presents to the young athletes.
"It has been such a phenomenal experience of conducting the Special Olympics Young Athletes programme supported by the IKEA Foundation and witnessing children with intellectual disabilities enjoy and grow through the world of sports," said Arathi K.T, Vice President, Special Olympics Bharat, Karnataka.
The Special Olympics' Young Athletes Programme (YAP) supported by the IKEA Foundation focuses on promoting inclusion and the development of children with intellectual disabilities through sports and play.
The programme helps young children with intellectual disabilities have a meaningful impact on their social, cognitive, psychological and physical development via sports.