UEFA supports Special Olympics Summer Games

UEFA is lending support to core social partner Special Olympics Europe Eurasia (SOEE) by sponsoring a Football Fun Park at the Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Special Olympics World Summer Games ATHENS 2011
Special Olympics World Summer Games ATHENS 2011 ©Adam Nurkiewicz

UEFA is joining its core social partner Special Olympics Europe Eurasia (SOEE) in making a contribution to the Special Olympics World Summer Games ATHENS 2011 – thanks to the UEFA-sponsored Football Fun Park.

With the World Summer Games currently taking place between 25 June and 4 July in the Greek capital, the Football Fun Park was opened by a number of local football personalities such as the president of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) Sofoklis Pilavios together with the CEO and chairman of Special Olympics International (SOI), Timothy Shriver.

Football events at the Games are continuing until 3 July at two venues in the area of Agios Kosmas/Hellinikon and at one in the Koropi district. A total of 1,268 players are involved in the three events being staged – five-a-side football, seven-a-side and eleven-a-side – and all participants will receive a special certificate.

Away from the main competitions, the Football Fun Park offers players the opportunity to perform individual skills tests and to train and compete in basic football techniques. These skills include dribbling, shooting, running and kicking. A player's final score is determined by the sum of the scores achieved in each of the disciplines.

The Special Olympics movement provides chances to more than 3.1 million athletes with intellectual disabilities in over 170 countries. The Special Olympics Europe Eurasia-UEFA Football Development Project aims, primarily, to engage more players with intellectual disabilities in football.

SOEE has figured prominently in UEFA's social responsibility strategy since 1998, and through this core partnership it continues to achieve significant progress towards the expansion of football opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Football is the most popular sport in Special Olympics and also the sport with the largest number of participants in the Greek Summer Games.